Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Contact: Audrey Williams  202-328-2748
Washington, D.C. —The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) is looking for experienced and successful charter school operators to open new schools in Washington, DC.  At its June 18 meeting, the Board approved the first step toward finalizing new application guidelines for experienced charter operators. These guidelines streamline and accelerate the application process for charter operators who have successful track records in other cities across the country.  With these guidelines, an experienced operator could apply to the PCSB by October 1 and, if successful after a rigorous review, gain approval by December.  The new school would be able to open in August of 2013 – a full year ahead of the current timeline for an approved DC charter school.
“We know there are many charter school operators around the country achieving impressive results through a diversity of approaches to educating students,” said Brian W. Jones, PCSB Board Chair. “Our board is committed to ensuring that DC is a top destination for successful charter school operators across the country, in order to expand access to high-quality school options for DC families.”
PCSB executive director Scott Pearson noted that many of the best DC charter schools are run by DC natives. “DC has always benefitted from strong homegrown operators.  I still expect to see great applications every year from outstanding DC-based founders. With this new policy we are broadening our outreach,” Pearson said.
The Board voted Monday to open a 30-day public comment period for the application guidelines for experienced operators. A public hearing on July 16 will follow the comment period, and final guidelines will be released August 31. Under the guidelines, applications from experienced operators would be due October 1.
According to the application guidelines, experienced operators would need to demonstrate how they would adapt their successful program elsewhere to the needs of schoolchildren in Washington, DC, and how their experience would contribute to the support and development of their new DC school. The operators would need to list the schools they have managed along with student achievement data. In addition, the operators must provide three years of financial audits, a detailed curriculum tailored to DC students and clear, measurable academic goals.  To see the full guidelines, please visit  http://bit.ly/LQSazp
About the PCSB: The DC Public Charter School Board currently oversees 53 public charter schools on 98 campuses serving nearly 32,000 students living in every ward of the city.  Seventy-five percent of the students attending public charter schools qualify for free or reduced price meals. Public charter schools serve 41% of all public school students in Washington, D.C. Learn more about the PCSB at www.dcpubliccharter.com