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D.C.’s Public Education Landscape Changing Rapidly

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Photo credit: Karin ZEITVOGEL/AFP/Getty Images

Photo credit: Karin ZEITVOGEL/AFP/Getty Images

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Public education in Washington, D.C. looks much different than it did a decade ago. It continues to evolve, as traditional public schools close and new charter schools open every year.

Nine existing D.C. Charter Schools are requesting enrollment ceiling increases at Monday evening’s meeting of the DC Public Charter School Board.

At a public hearing April 3, nine charter applicants made cases before the board for why they should be allowed to open new schools. There are already 57 charter schools on 102 campuses in the District. They serve more than 41 percent of all public school children the the city.

According to a Washington Examiner report, lottery results for the 2013-14 school year show that some of the existing charter schools are harder to get into than Ivy League colleges. Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School accepted just 3 percent of applicants, and only 6.8 percent of those who applied to E.L. Haynes Public Charter School’s were selected to attend.

By comparison, Harvard admits 6.3 percent of applicants and only 7 percent of Columbia University applicants are invited to matriculate, according to U.S. News & World Report college rankings and reviews.

Meanwhile, 13 D.C. public schools will be closing their doors at the end of this school year as part of Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s consolidation and reorganization plan. Two more schools will close at the end of next school year.

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