Thursday, February 14, 2008

Its Howard Road Academy 

Last night Howard Road Academy was selected by the D.C. Public Charter School Board to take over the failing Washington Academy Charter School.

What appealed to the board was the $2.5 million Howard Road has in reserve to fund the transition.

And although Theola Labbe of the Washington Post says that this is the first time that one school was selected to take over another a few years ago, the Friendship Schools assumed control of Southeast Academy. WEDJ also tried to obtain this site.

What made Friendship, and in this case, Howard Roard attractive was their deep pockets. The board does not want a repeat of financials problems in the charter school world.

In a sense then we have been hurt by our decision to provide a firt class permanent facility for our students from our fist year. We are perhaps the only charter school in the city to obtain this goal. The money involved in building out a temporary facility for four months, building our own space and then completing an addition definately takes its toll on savings. But that's what happens when you want to establish a teaching environment second to none.

One strange aspect of this decision, however, is that Howard Road PCS does not currently offer Pre-K. I understand there are approximately 50 Pre-K students currently enrolled at Washington Academy. The addition of grades to a school in the past has always required a charter amendment. I guess money permits the overlooking of this inconvenient fact.

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