From today’s POLITICO Morning Education:
FIRST ADULT CHARTER SCHOOL OPENS IN D.C. — The first adult charter school in Washington, D.C. to offer educational services and skills training opens today. The Community College Preparatory Academy teamed up with Pearson to help adults move from high school into postsecondary education and careers. The school plans to serve about 150 students in its first year and up to 300 students by its third year.
The news that D.C. is welcoming its first adult charter school today will certainly be of interest to these guys, who got their charter way back in 1998. Not a big deal, but it’s important to recognize that charters in D.C. have been serving adults for quite some time.
More on D.C. charters and adult education here.
UPDATE 9/18/13: Politico has clarified their story, noting that the Community College Preparatory Academy is the first charter school to offer adult education in Southeast D.C.
UPDATE 9/18/13 (2): Fixed link to the Carlos Rosario School.
According to The Washington Post, four new charter schools have received tentative approval from the D.C. Public Charter School Board to open for the 2013-14 school year. One of them, the Community College Preparatory Academy, will offer “an educational second chance” to unemployed and under-skilled adults. According to the Post, the school will hold classes at the Backus Campus of the University of the District of Columbia Community College, the Shadd School and the P.R. Harris Educational Center.
The Tennessean reports today that Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee is pursuing a charter for an adult charter school, taking advantage of the opportunity created by recent changes to the state’s charter school law. Here are the details (note the critical caveat in the last sentence):
A Goodwill vice president said Tuesday she pursued a charter after being approached by a former employee in Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s office to help some of the county’s 60,000 adults without a high school diploma.
Excel Academy, proposed by Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, hopes to serve adult dropouts.
“The barrier to getting a job is that they don’t have a high school diploma,” said Goodwill of Middle Tennessee Vice President Betty Johnson. “There is a huge unmet need.”
Goodwill will give $100,000 in startup money for the program, fashioned after one in Indiana that has a waiting list of more than 2,000 adults. However, school district officials say it’s unclear whether state K-12 funding will cover adults who dropped out years earlier. (my emphasis)
As noted by D.C. LEARNs:
Among the 11 charter school applications received this year by the D.C. Public Charter School Board, three are adult-education charters, including one virtual school, according to this recent story in the Washington Examiner.
Jackie Boddie, the board’s school performance officer, noted a strong need for adult-education programs in the city: “Carlos Rosario [International Public Charter School] has a wait list as long as 10 miles, and other adult-ed programs also have wait lists.”
According to the Examiner, Charter school staff will spend the next five weeks reviewing the applications and interviewing each prospective founder, then hold public hearings March 19th and 20th. Decisions will be announced on April 23.
If all three were approved, this would provide 475 new seats (even if some are “virtual”) for adult education students in Washington D.C. It should be noted, however, that some established District adult education organizations have been denied charters in the past, so it’s far from a done deal that any of these will be approved.
Summaries of each application are available on the board’s website; if you are interested in public charter school funding for adult education, they are worth a read.