D.C. Mayor Gray announced yesterday the awarding of $2.8 million to eight D.C. schools to support vocational training in the areas of hospitality, engineering, and information technology, according to the Washington Post's Emma Brown. The funding will create academies at the Cardozo Education Campus, the Columbia Heights Education Campus, Dunbar High School, Phelps Architecture, Construction, and Engineering High School, Wilson High School, and McKinley Technology High School.
Friendship Collegiate Academy and Friendship Tech Prep were the only charter schools to be provided with the grants. Ms. Brown reports that Friendship CEO and Chairman Donald Hense was extremely satisfied to be one of the recipients. She writes,
"Donald Hense, chief executive of the Friendship school network, welcomed the initiative as 'a sign of a more serious focus on things that are important to careers in Washington.'"
The Washington Post reporter goes on to explain that about $239,000 of the money will go to the National Academy Foundation, which is a national organization that aids schools in setting up vocational training. Ms. Brown states that the grants came out of 2012 legislation calling for the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education to create a task force focused on improving adult job training. The forming of academies was a recommendation of the group.
Left out of the award was Carlos Rosario PCS, Booker T. Washington PCS, Hospitality High PCS, Maya Angelou PCS, and the new Academy of Hope PCS which already provide vocational education. There may be more.
Instead of the Mayor trying to pick winners and losers I would greatly prefer that he allocate all school funding through the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula, eliminate the wide inequality in revenue between the charters and DCPS, and allow each school to decide on their own how to spend their money. This is called justice.