The District of Columbia is a leader in providing school choice options for parents.
Public School Choice:
According to the Center for Educatist charter school lawon Reform, Washington, D.C., has one of the nation’s stronges. Passed in 1996 and expanded in 2005, the law has allowed thousands of parents to choose alternative public schools for their children. As of 2010, approximately 30,000 students were enrolled in the District’s 101 charter schools.
Private School Choice:
In 2011, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program was reauthorized and expanded to continue providing private school scholarships to low-income children. Students in grades K-8 are eligible to receive up to $8,000 and students in grades 9–12 can receive up to $12,000 for private school tuition. About 1,200 students participated in the program during the 2010-2011 school year.
The Community Academy Public Charter School (CAPCS) Online operates in Washington, D.C., and provides online learning for students in grades K-8.
In 2011, Congress reauthorized the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to low-income students in Washington, D.C. Since 2009, the program has been in danger of being phased out, and no new students were being allowed to apply for scholarships. The 2011 legislation restored the program by once again, allowing new students to enter the program and increasing the scholarship amount.
Click here for detailed information on the District of Columbia's public school system and see below for school choice contacts and a history of school choice legislation in the District of Columbia.