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Mayor Bowser Announces UDC Scholarship Initiative and Provides Long-term Locations for DC Public Charter Schools

Friday, February 5, 2016

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, with the Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles, and University of the District of Columbia President Ronald Mason, Jr. announced the District of Columbia University Partnership (DC-UP). DC-UP will provide full four-year scholarships and housing stipends to the Valedictorians and Salutatorians of DCPS and the District’s Public Charter Schools.

“We are cementing a pathway to the middle class for our students with this innovative program at the University of the District of Columbia,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “I am proud to continue to work with UDC as we make critical investments in District youth.”

This announcement is Phase I of a Comprehensive Plan to provide merit-based scholarships to all eligible students in the District of Columbia.

“This is the beginning of a process to bring public education to the forefront for the District's future,” said President Mason.

Mayor Bowser and Deputy Mayor Niles also announced a new solicitation for two excess DCPS school buildings. Both the Keene School in Ward 5 and the PR Harris School in Ward 8 will be the subject of a new excess school solicitation in March 2016. Releasing these buildings will create more long term space for public charter schools so they can make needed capital improvements and provide sustained programming for students and families.

“Today, through Mayor Bowser’s leadership, three public charter schools will be able to stay in the buildings in which they’re currently located.  This is good for our students, parents and community because our schools can focus on teaching instead of looking for new space,” said Scott Pearson, Executive Director of the DC Public Charter School Board.

Additionally, the MC Terrell School in Ward 8 will be awarded to the Charter School Incubator Initiative (CSII). CSII has a long history of supporting new charter schools in the District by providing short-term transitional space for start-up public charter schools located in high-need communities.

CSII has a long history of supporting new charter schools in the District by providing short-term transitional space for start-up public charter schools located in high-need communities. Through the award to CSII, the MC Terrell School will be able to house Somerset Prep Academy which serves middle & high school students, Community College Prep which serves adult students, and the Urban Teaching Center which trains teachers to work specifically in urban schools; both DCPS and charter. 

Today’s announcements concluded Education Week, a week-long effort to highlight how the District is accelerating the pace of school reform and creating pathways to the middle class for District residents.