That's My Take: DC Charter Schools - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

That's My Take: DC Charter Schools

WASHINGTON -

Have you ever felt cheated? Did you ever wait in a long line, hungry and thirsty, only to be told when you got to the head of the line that there was no more food or drink? Well, you might know how the D.C. charter schools feel.

A study released by the University of Arkansas and funded by the Walton Family Foundation found that D.C. charter schools per pupil funding in 2011 was $13,000 lower than traditional public schools. Among the five cities that were studied - Denver, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Newark, the per-pupil funding gap was the largest in the District.

D.C. law states that per pupil funding be equal for both sets of students. But what tilts the scales unfairly in favor of traditional public schools is the fact they also receive funding for operations and facilities.

But there is some good news - the gap is being narrowed.

For years, charter schools have longed for more space to grow. They didn't understand why the District wouldn't allow the charters to occupy some of the schools that have been closed due to low enrollments.

Mayor Gray announced Monday that 16 former D.C. Public School buildings will be made available to charter schools as well as community organizations. This represents a big step towards leveling the playing field for the growing charter school movement.

In this win-win situation, what the District will get in return are higher graduation rates and higher proficiency levels in math, reading and science. To me, that sounds like a good return on their investment.

What do you think? Let me know what you think. Go to myfoxdc.com and click on That's My Take or send me an email at tmt@wttg.com.


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