Hearing on Admission Preference for Charter Schools

David Grosso, chair of the education committee of the DC council, has scheduled a hearing for October 29, 10 am, on two proposed laws that would provide preferential admission to DC charter schools for the children of military personnel.

Proposed law B21-0039, “Military Installation Public Charter School Amendment Act of 2016,” would empower the charter board to approve admission preferences for children of active military families for charters located near DC military bases. It would allow up to half of the seats at such charters to go to children of military members.

Proposed law B21-0428, “School Choice for Military Families Amendment Act of 2015,” empowers individual charter schools to offer preference to children of active servicemembers.

Right now, there is no lottery preference for any school, DCPS or charter, for military families in DC.

There are also no children associated with any DC military facility except Bolling Air Force base, which currently has in bounds status for Leckie Elementary School, Hart Middle School, and Ballou High School, all by right, DCPS schools.

It thus appears that this legislation attempts to create a lottery preference for only one type of public school–even at the expense of other charters and available slots therein.

Along with the limited scope of proposed fiscal transparency legislation for DC charter schools, the disparities implicit in this legislation sounds like something the task force on sector collaboration might want to mull over. (Not to mention DC public school families, whose educational interests are apparently not being represented fully by their elected reps.)

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