The District should consider allowing charter schools that move into closed D.C. public school buildings to give admissions preference to children who live nearby, according to a task force convened by the D.C. Council.
But the city should not allow or compel other charters to give such a neighborhood preference, the 12-member task force wrote Friday in a report to the council.
“Neighborhood preference would not increase the number of quality seats” in high-performing schools, the report said, “but simply ration them based on the location of a student’s home.”
Charter schools now enroll kids from across the city, conducting lotteries if there is more demand than space. That gives students equal access to admission — but it can also shut them out of the school down the street.
Parents’ complaints led the council to create the panel, which met four times this fall. It included representatives from D.C. public schools, the executive and legislative branches of city government, the teachers union, and the charter school community.