DFER-DC on Mayor’s ‘Education Week’ Announcements of Investments in Public Charter School Facilities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement from DFER-DC on Mayor’s ‘Education Week’ Announcements of Investments in Public Charter School Facilities

Washington, DC – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser marked the start of the District’s “Education Week” by announcing significant investments in public charter school facilities. The announcements included an annual increase of 2.2% to the per-pupil facilities allotment for public charter schools over the next four years, the awarding of two school buildings for long-term lease to charter schools, and the release of two excess school facilities for proposals from charter schools.

Catharine Bellinger, D.C. Director of Democrats for Education Reform, released the following statement about this morning’s announcements:

“In the past 9 years, the cost of construction and private lease rates for the charter facilities market have risen astronomically, putting extreme financial pressure on public charter schools. Today marks the first time since 2008 that the District has made a substantive increase to the charter school facilities allotment, previously set at $3,124 per pupil.

“We applaud Mayor Bowser for taking significant steps to alleviate this pressure through a 2.2% annual increase to the charter facilities allotment over the next four years. In doing so, the Mayor demonstrates a deep commitment to the 41,784 students who attend public charter schools.

“We call on the DC Council to support the Mayor’s proposed annual increase of 2.2% to the charter facilities allotment, and we look forward to partnering with the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor for Education to ensure that students in all eight wards have equal access to high-quality public schools.

“In addition, we commend the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Education for opening the Winston Education Campus and Fletcher-Johnson Middle School facilities for solicitation from public charter schools.

A recent poll by Education Reform Now, a non-partisan partner of DFER-DC, showed that 76% of voters and an overwhelming 86% of parents believe that public charter schools should be part of the solution to the city’s supply of vacant school buildings. When a charter school renovates and re-opens a formerly vacant, dilapidated school building, the entire community benefits. We look forward to seeing high-performing public charter schools open in these buildings and expand access to an excellent education for more children in the District.”

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Contact: Catharine Bellinger, 202-361-9172