Public schools students deserve a high-quality education no matter what school they attend. To reach that goal, public schools should be funded fairly and adequately–a goal that remains just that in DC: a goal.
The Cost of Student Achievement: Report of the DC Education Adequacy Study, a report from DC government, shows that school funding in DC does not even reach the level of adequacy: “current funding through the UPSFF has not kept up with the cost of educating students in District of Columbia Public schools (DCPS) and public charter schools.”
The DC Charter School Alliance advocates to:
- Increase the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF) so that all schools–charter schools and DCPS–receive the funding needed to provide students with the level of learning needed to be successful in college and life.
- Increase funding for the students furthest from opportunity, including students with special needs, English language learners, and students identified ase at-risk, who account for nearly 50 percent of students in DC.
- Increase funding so all students have access to the mental health supports needed to thrive in school and life.
- Ensure that all education funding goes through the UPSFF so that students and families receive equitable funding no matter which school they choose to attend.
The school building is critical to fostering strong school and neighborhood communities, and as charter schools open, expand, and grow, charter communities need access to school buildings. The DC Charter School Alliance advocates for charter schools to be able to access buildings across DC so the students and families who want to attend a school of choice can do so.
The DC Charter School Alliance supports:
- Ensuring that unused city and school buildings are provided to charter schools before being offered to other entities, as required by the DC School Reform Act.
- Increasing funding for school buildings, including a multi-year commitment to support charter school facilities.
- Innovative thinking about using under-utilized buildings for co-locations, where more than one school occupies a building.
- Pursuing creative financing, from credit enhancement to public-private partnerships, to ensure that both schools and communities are well-served with new buildings.
Charter schools are public schools that are open to all students and founded on the idea that, with the freedom to innovate, charter schools can create diverse, innovative schools that meet the different needs of students and families, all while meeting high academic standards.
When a charter school opens, that school makes a promise to its community and the DC Public Charter School Board to deliver on its model, whether that is a school focused on social justice, a school that offers instruction in multiple languages, a Montessori-based curriculum, inquiry-based learning, or another learning approach.
The DC Charter School Alliance advocates to protect the freedom of charter schools for what they do best: creating innovative school models, promoting a system of choice where every student can find the school that best meets his or her needs, building professional learning communities, providing diverse and new curricula and instruction, and being flexible and nimble to changing needs, such as what we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advocacy begins with your voice. Join us in the movement to ensure a strong, robust charter school sector in Washington, DC and transform the lives of DC’s students.