Board Rejects All Three Charter Proposals

Monday, May 21, 2018

Board Rejects All Three Charter Proposals

Washington, DC -- The DC Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB) denied all three proposals this evening to open new public charter schools in the city. The three proposals were submitted by BOLT Academy, Capital Village Academy, and MECCA Business Learning Institute.  

“Our goal is to provide DC students with quality and choice,” said Rick Cruz, Board chair, DC PCSB.  “We assess all applications, including those submitted this year, with this in mind.”

“Public charter schools in Washington DC are some of the best in the country because the Board thoroughly examines each application it receives -- and approves only those which meet a very high standard,” said Scott Pearson, Executive Director, DC PCSB.  “The Board determined that these applicants do not meet that standard.”

During the meeting, the Board encouraged the applicant Capital Village Academy, in particular, to make improvements and submit another application next year as they found the applicant was close to meeting the standard for approval.

Over five years the board has approved one third of all applicants.  Last year, the Board received seven applications and conditionally approved three. These schools will open in the 2018-19 school year. In 2016, the Board approved only one application of the two it received.   In 2015 and 2014,  three out of eight and three of ten proposals were approved, respectively. During this time the board also approved dozens of applications for schools to grow or replicate.

The DC PCSB review process is a thorough one.  After the Board received applications in March, it notified Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) citywide and opened the charter applications for public comment. Meanwhile, DC PCSB staff began reviewing each application to determine if it meets the standard to receive a 15-year charter.  This review included:  1) analyzing academic, operational, and financial plans and 2) conducting interviews with the founding group.

The Board held a public hearing and a Town Hall in April to allow District residents the opportunity to discuss and comment on the applications. The applicant groups also met with numerous stakeholders and residents to discuss their school models.

Later this year, the Board will review existing schools to assess their performance using our School Quality Report.