This week legislation was approved by the D.C. Council and signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser that would allow a new charter school located on or near the Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling (JBAB) a 50 percent admission preference for children of parents active in military service. The bill was sponsored by Council chairman Phil Mendelson and education committee chairman David Grosso. JBAB Commander, Navy Capt. Frank Mays commented on the new law:
“This public charter school will provide additional educational opportunities not only to our military families here on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, but also our Ward 8 families. Plans for creating a public charter school with a military preference on or near JBAB have been in the works for nearly 20 years and we are excited to see them finally come to fruition. This is truly a win-win for JBAB and the local community.”
The provision of charter schools for military families is not new. According to the DC Public Charter School Board, “There are seven military bases across the country with public charter schools including Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland and Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago.”
Scott Pearson, the PCSB executive director, stated that his organization will try to identify a charter to fill this need as soon as possible. I applaud Mr. Pearson’s effort in this regard.
Now what about the other 22,000 students on charter school waiting lists?