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D.C. Charter Schools Adopt Common Deadlines

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The common charter school application is intended to ease the stress for applying students and parents.
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The common charter school application is intended to ease the stress for applying students and parents.

The majority of public charter schools in D.C. will now have common deadlines for applications, school lottery and for acceptance.

Eighty five of the 100 charter schools in the District have agreed on uniform dates: March 15 for applications, March 22 for lotteries and April 12 to accept a school spot. Charter schools that have more applicants than spaces hold lotteries.

While common dates might seem like common sense, Abigail Smith, a consultant who helped create this system, says this wasn't the case until now.

"We had in D.C. about 30 different deadlines for charter schools," Smith says. "And then you also find out whether you got in at different times. And in some cases it could be a month ot two difference between schools."

Parents still have to fill in applications for individual schools, but Smith says there's an effort underway to create a common application form and a common lottery.

She says approximately 20 charter school leaders in D.C. are in conversation with school leaders in Denver and New Orleans to learn the advantages and disadvantages of such a system.

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