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Statement on Closure of D.C. Public Schools

Another Example of Charter Schools Not Receiving Equal Operational Dollars and Equity in Facilities

CER Press Release
Washington, D.C.
November 14, 2012

Center for Education Reform Founder and President Jeanne Allen made the following statement regarding the announcement that D.C. Public Schools proposes closing 19 facilities, and not giving the buildings a surplus designation.

“The Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools has gotten a pass from reformers because of her work on teacher evaluations, and for being tough on failure. But even in these she has shown herself more interested in fixing a system than boosting solutions – like charters – that will give children access to any good alternative. In this latest move, she is effectively sitting on buildings that belong to the public, not to the system. It provides yet another example of charter schools in D.C. not receiving equal operational dollars and equity when it comes to facilities, despite a law that explicitly says they should. Equity demands that all public school children share in the pie.

“Ms. Henderson has made it clear that she wants more control over charter schools. In this, the Council, which supports her, is not engaged in fighting for real justice for kids. Whereas the Mayor, the Council, the business community and parents once stood resolved that choice through charters would be an essential element of education in D.C., today they operate to preserve their power, not parent power.

“The recent school closure announcement should have fused the districts corrective action with expanded opportunity for kids. Instead the issues are divided, and so are our leaders.

“I urge the media to look closely at this incident and how it reveals a chasm between the Chancellor and the Council’s rhetoric and their actions. It’s time the Chancellor was asked to account for her unequal treatment of the public good.”