Between kicking off the year with another successful Public Charter School Recruitment Expo and fighting for fair funding at the Committee of the Whole’s public roundtable, January was a pretty busy month for us here at FOCUS.
To show you what we mean, what follows is just a taste of last month’s media coverage of the issue that took center stage in January’s DC education headlines: public charter school equity. These articles are excellent resources for getting caught up with the debate, too, so we’ve linked to where you can find them!
‘Levy Report’: DCPS gets millions more than charters (The Washington Post, 1/17/12)
Much of this month’s media commentary centers on the Levy Report. In this report, as Bill Turque describes, education finance consultant Mary Levy finds a significant discrepancy in operating funding between the District’s traditional public schools and public charters. What’s more, the additional funding that traditional public schools get in operating funding lies outside of the established uniform funding procedure.
Turque’s article mentions how FOCUS has been pushing the Public Education Finance Reform Commission (PEFRC) to address these issues. It also includes a quote from a joint statement issued by our Executive Director, Robert Cane, and the Executive Director of the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools, Ramona Edelin, which reads:
“These payments violate the requirement of D.C. law that DCPS and the public charter schools receive equal funding on a per-student basis. They also violate principles of equity, which require that we give each of our school children an equal chance to succeed regardless of which public school he or she attends.”
SIMMONS: Mayor’s plan discriminates against charter students (The Washington Times, 1/23/12)
This column was written right before the Committee of the Whole roundtable, when the D.C. Council met to consider “the mayor’s request for a supplemental budget that would add $25 million to traditional public school coffers” without proportional supplemental funding for public charter schools. As such, Simmons cites a joint study commissioned by FOCUS and the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools alongside specific public charter school achievements to justify equitable funding for all D.C. public school students.
‘One City,’ but two school funding standards (The Washington Post, 1/27/12)
Co-authored by Alice Rivlin and Mary Levy, this editorial takes on Mayor Grey’s One City campaign pledge in light of equitable funding issues. In order to make the mayor’s vision a reality, the authors conclude that “we need to respect our duty to uphold fairness and equality and invest in every District child enrolled in public schools.” In doing so, the editorial makes a comparable argument to that of Washington Yu Ying PCS cofounder Steve Glazerman in his recent piece in Greater Greater Washington.
Interested in finding out how you can help us advocate for equitable funding? Sign up for Advocacy Alerts, our e-newsletter informing subscribers of key DC meetings and events, here!