Legislation signed into law last week by District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser is expected to jump start local plans to establish a charter school serving military families stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB).
The law allows a newly-created public charter school on or near the joint base to set aside up to 50 percent of its enrollment to the children of active-duty members of the armed forces.
“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,” JBAB Commander Navy Capt. Frank Mays said in a news release.
“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,” Mays said in reference to the Southeast Washington neighborhood outside the base.
The law will expand the educational options for military families, easing the transition when they are forced to relocate, said Jill Gaitens, regional director at the Military Child Education Coalition.
Scott Pearson, executive director of the DC Public Charter School Board, said his organization plans “to move right away to find new charter schools that can offer this preference.”
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.