Experienced Charter Operators - Why Come to DC? (Part II)

Last week we talked about Rocketship, and why it would be good for experienced charter school operators like them to apply to open schools in DC.  We have a host of reasons why DC is a great place for outside operators to start new DC charter schools, here are a few of them:

  • DC has a strong charter law. The DC School Reform Act of 1995 (amended in 1996) established the DC Public Charter School Board as an independent charter school authorizer.  PCSB has been the sole authorizer of charter schools since 2006.  We respect the autonomy of charter schools and work with government officials to ensure that funding to charter schools is equitable with the funding to traditional public schools. 
  • DC is a supportive environment for charter schools to grow.  We continue to work closely with our Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Deputy Mayor for Education De'Shawn Wright and DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson to ensure that every child has access to a high-quality education.
  • DC charter school enrollment has seen steady growth.  Charter school enrollment has been on an upward trajectory since 1999 and now stands at 41% of the public school population.
  • Charter schools outperform traditional public schools.  Charter schools have higher results than the statewide average while serving a more challenging population, as we have detailed in our school performance reports.
  • DC funding levels are among the highest in the nation.  The typical DC elementary charter school received $16,000-$17,000 in public funding per pupil.  Click here to view the per student funding formula details for SY2012-13.
  • Being in Washington, DC puts local education into the national spotlight. Federal officials are interested in our work in DC and legislators from around the country also have the opportunity to visit schools.

The guidelines for experienced charter operators detail the rigorous requirements that prospective charter schools have to adhere to apply to open a charter school in DC, and approved schools would be able to open in August 2013 – a full year ahead of the current timeline for startup charter schools.

What do you think about this fast-track option for local and non-local experienced charter operators?

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