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In Washington, D.C., Charter Schools Are Hurting Public Schools

The Jefferson Academy booth at EdFEST, D.C.'s public school fair in December, tries to attract students to the middle school. Jefferson is eschewed by many parents of students from Capitol Hill feeder school Brent Elementary. (Matthew S. Schwartz/WAMU)
The Jefferson Academy booth at EdFEST, D.C.'s public school fair in December, tries to attract students to the middle school. Jefferson is eschewed by many parents of students from Capitol Hill feeder school Brent Elementary. (Matthew S. Schwartz/WAMU)

Charter schools throughout the country are increasingly competing with public schools for students. In Washington DC, nearly half of all students attend charter schools, some switching to them between grades. This can wreak havoc on the stability of enrollment from one grade to the next. Matthew Schwartz from Here & Now contributor WAMU visited Brent Elementary, a public school that has seen a steep decline in enrollment.

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