The DC Charter School Alliance Member Council steers the organization’s key policy priorities and ensures that the organization is aligned to the needs of DC’s diverse charter school leaders, teachers, staff, parents, and students.
AppleTree Early Learning PCS
Basis DC PCS
Capital City PCS
Capital Village PCS
Carlos Rosario International PCS
Cedar Tree Academy PCS
Center City PCS
Community College Preparatory Academy PCS
Creative Minds International PCS
DC Bilingual PCS
DC Scholars PCS
Digital Pioneers Academy PCS
District of Columbia International School
E.L. Haynes PCS
Eagle Academy PCS
Early Childhood Academy PCS
Girls Global Academy PCS
Goodwill Excel Center PCS
Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science PCS
I Dream Academy PCS
Ingenuity Prep PCS
Inspired Teaching Demonstration PCS
Kingsman Academy PCS
KIPP DC PCS
Latin American Montessori Bilingual PCS
LAYC Career Academy PCS
Lee Montessori PCS
Maya Angelou PCS
Monument Academy PCS
Perry Street Preparatory PCS
Richard Wright PCS for Journalism and Media Arts
SEED PCS of Washington, DC
Shining Stars Montessori Academy PCS
Sojourner Truth Montessori PCS
St. Coletta Special Education PCS
Statesmen College Preparatory Academy for Boys PCS
The Children’s Guild DC PCS
The Family Place PCS
The Next Step/El Proximo Paso PCS
The Social Justice School PCS
Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS
Two Rivers PCS
Washington Global PCS
Washington Latin PCS
Washington Leadership Academy PCS
Washington Yu Ying PCS
Areas of expertise:
History and context of DC charter schools, single-site and homegrown charter schools, cultural competency, strategic support to school leaders (individual, small group, and affinity groups); urban policy; education policy
Director of Policy & Programs
Areas of expertise:
School startup, program design, replication and expansion, organizational structure, data and assessment, compliance, school operations, accountability, school improvement
Senior Director of Government Relations
Areas of expertise:
Government relations (local and federal), charter school laws, SOAR Act, facilities, funding
Calendar of Events
Latest Past Events
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We work with a diverse set of partners that together, work to improve education in the District of Columbia. Our partners include:
FOCUS was founded in 1996 and helped to write the law that created charter schools in DC. The organization also developed the facilities allowance that enables charter schools to access appropriate school buildings and protected them from intrusions on their autonomy, while providing technical support and assistance to support quality charter schools from startup through replication and expansion.
The two organizations merged in 2020 as the DC Charter School Alliance, a unified organization dedicated to advocacy for DC charter schools. Today, the DC Charter School Alliance works on behalf of all DC charter schools and leads the conversation about what public education can be in the District of Columbia.
Charter schools created in DC
DC charter schools are created under law in the DC School Reform Act of 1995, passed by the US Congress.
First charter schools in DC open
First three charter schools open in DC, approved by the Board of Education, the sole charter school in DC.
DC Public Charter School Board created
DC Public Charter School Board, an independent charter school authorizer, is created to authorize charter schools.
Advocacy supports DC charter schools
FOCUS is created to advocate for strong charter schools in DC.
DC Council creates per pupil facilities allowance
Charter schools can use funding to buy, lease, and renovate suitable buildings, in a new per pupil facilities allowance, a first step in alleviating funding disparities between DC Public Schools and DC charter schools.
First Family Fair held
First public charter school family fair held, a precursor to the citywide school lottery and EdFest, which now include both charters and DCPS schools.
DC Council sets first facilities allowance at $617
DC Council sets the first facilities allowance at $617. The original formula is based on a five-year rolling average of DCPS facilities costs. The allowance has been consistently underfunded, ignored, or rolled back.
Congress creates Enhancement for Charter School Facilities program
Congress creates a new program that results in charter schools can enhance their credit to be able to access private and other non-federal capital to acquire, construct, and renovate facilities at a reasonable cost.
DC Mayor controls giving surplus school buildings to DC charter schools
The power to give unused and underutilized buildings to charter schools is now in the purview of the Mayor of DC.
Proposed budget fully funds charters
Mayor Anthony A. Williams, for the first time in the history of DC, creates a budget that would fund charter schools for the number of students they enroll.
Congress establish $5 million Direct Loan Program
The Direct Loan program structures and provides loans to DC charter schools for construction, acquisition, renovation, and maintenance of charter school facilities. Since inception the Direct Loan Program has disbursed more than $50 million in direct loans to 36 public charter schools, leveraging more than $325 million in additional funding for school facilities.
Advocacy supports DC charter schools
The DC Association of Chartered Public Schools forms as the only membership organization for charter schools in DC.
New charter school moratorium established
The Board of Education declares a one-year moratorium on charter schools before ultimately relinquishing its chartering authorizing and making the DC Public Charter School Board the sole authorizer of charter schools in DC.
Mayoral control of DC Public Schools begins
The Mayor gets the authority to oversee DC Public Schools with mayoral control, ushering in more reforms for public schools in DC.
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is created
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education is created, allowing administration of federal funds to public schools to live with a separate entity than the traditional public school system.
Public Education Finance Reform Commission established
DC Council authorizes the Public Education Finance Reform Commission to study equitable funding for all public schools students in DC, after advocacy from the DC charter school sector for fair and equal funding implementation.
Delay in Performance Management Frameworks
The charter advocacy sector successfully delays the implementation of the DC Public Charter School Board’s Performance Management Frameworks (PMF) for one year to ensure strong, effective accountability. The change also led to school leaders having input on policies from the Board.
School security serves charter schools
Mayor Fenty announces that the Metropolitan Police Department’s School Security Division will serve charter schools to ensure equity in school safety.
DC adequacy study declares finding that funding has not kept up with costs
The Cost of Student Achievement: Report of the DC Education Adequacy Study, a report from DC government, shows that school funding in DC does not reach the level of adequacy: “current funding through the UPSFF has not kept up with the cost of educating students in District of Columbia Public schools (DCPS) and public charter schools.”
Equitable funding lawsuit filed
The DC Association of Chartered Public Schools, Eagle Academy PCS, and Washington Latin PCS file suit in court, asking that DC government comply with the legal mandate that public charter school students receive the same amount of funding as their peers in the traditional public school system.
Council updates facilities funding to keep pace with rising costs
The Council includes adjustments to the facilities fund to partially keep pace with rising construction and borrowing costs in the District.
School nurse shortage continues in public schools
DC Council tries to pass legislation to ensure that all public schools have a nurse in their school for at least 40 hours per week, but the shortage persists.
The DC Charter School Alliance is created
FOCUS and the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools merge to create the DC Charter School Alliance, creating a unified advocacy voice in DC.