|Number of Students Served:||7,150|
|Professional Services Fees:||1,548,000|
|Grants Made to Schools:||1,014,000|
|Program and Admin Expenses:||1,595,000|
|Professional Services Expenses:||1,501,000|
|Number of Students:||7,150|
|Title I Students:||38%|
|Number of Sutdents Served:||30,070|
|Professional Services Fees:||3,961,000|
|Grants Made to Schools:||6,072,000|
|Program and Admin Expenses:||8,979,000|
|Professional Services Expenses:||3,905,000|
|Number of Students:||30,700|
|Title I Students:||67%|
Over the past five years, an average of six new public charter schools have opened in the District of Columbia. Of the 96 public charter schools now in the District, Building Hope has financed 57, around sixty percent. The social impact of this investment has yielded dividends in myriad ways, many impossible to quantify but easy to recognize, such as after-school and year-round programs, teacher development, parental engagement, data-driven performance measures and other education reform tools. These practices are used by the best charter schools to raise educational quality and student achievement.
To maximize the social gains from its investing activities, Building Hope targets both low income students and neighborhoods. In the District of Columbia, public charter school enrollment is 98% minority and 72% of the students are eligible for free or subsidized lunch programs. In addition, the proportion of special needs students in DC charter schools reflects the overall high ratios in the DC public school system.
As a result of this success, Building Hope has been able to continue lending when others had to curtail such activities. Without Building Hope and other mission-driven lenders, almost no new projects would have been financed in 2009 for public charter schools. This would have denied thousands of students the opportunity to receive the best education possible for their needs from a public charter school.In addition to the beneficial impact on individual students, public charter schools transform entire communities. The most obvious and immediate social impact of a new public charter school is in bringing a modern new, state-of-the-art facility to the neighborhood or renovating an existing structure. Many times, such as with the E. L. Haynes Public Charter School in the District of Columbia, new buildings replace blemishes sullying a once-proud neighborhood.
What enters and exits from the new school facility brings even more to the community than gleaming bricks and mortar. Public charter schools, by their very nature, are the province of the dedicated. It requires a great deal of effort to create a public charter. The administration and the faculty are committed: they want to be there for every positive reason. This spirit imbues the school and with it the surrounding community with a sense of mission and dedication to purpose.
The students want to be there just as much, if not more. Attending a public charter school requires leaving behind the comfort of the existing one with its halls of friendly, familiar faces. The application process to a public charter school is demanding. Just getting there requires an effort as it is not the local public school and many times is located across town. This sense of purpose can be seen in many performance standards. At Thurgood Marshall Academy for Public Service, the beneficiary of assistance from Building Hope, there is a 100% college acceptance rate for its graduates.
This esprit de corps emanates from a public charter school, permeating throughout the surrounding community. The public charter school becomes the focal point of the neighborhood. The youth and energy of the students combined with the zeal of the teachers and administrators naturally stimulates the area.
From the success of individual charter schools and the surrounding neighborhood a culture of support and success is engendered. Those who desire to create their own public charter schools now have an example to emulate. Students can determine from their peers if a public charter school would provide the best education for their needs. Parents can confer with other families to assess what their experience has been and determine if it is best for their own children.
This culture breeds more success for public charter schools and local communities. For any subculture to thrive there must be a strong area network. This can be observed in Silicon Valley, Wall Street or Hollywood. Contacts are made, relationships established and information shared that facilitates similar economic activity. Public charter schools soon become the choice of students and parents. Those looking to start a public school now have a model and a network. Neighborhoods wanting an economic stimulus soon realize the gains to be realized from the presence of a public charter school.
This unparalleled success of Building Hope in financing public charter schools and revitalizing communities was recognized with the receipt of the Baptist Award from City First Bank. This was awarded to Building Hope to honor its commitment to improving the economic well being of low and moderate income families in Washington, D.C. As Building Hope has clearly demonstrated with its mission and as hundreds of thousands of students and local communities have come to realize across the country, all benefit when a public charter school comes to the neighborhood.
With the commitment Sallie Mae to access to higher education, the activities of Building Hope have served to further this goal. The Thurgood Marshall Academy for Public Service, as an example of a Building Hope effort in the District of Columbia, has a 100% college acceptance rate for its graduates. Contrary to some claims, public charter schools do not "cherry pick" the best students. At the schools financed by Building Hope in the District, 72% of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunch programs with an overall student body that is 98% minority. This is by design not accident: Sallie Mae has chartered Building Hope to focus on schools and communities with such demographics.
The relationship of Sallie Mae and Business Hope goes far beyond the act of merely financing much of the activities or establishing a charter. Building Hope's Board Chair, Marianne M. Keler, is the former General Counsel of Sallie Mae. Her leadership has been instrumental in guiding the growth of Building Hope, literally, across the country, as schools have been financed in California. At the opening ceremony of the Chavez-Bruce Preparatory Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. in October 2009, Al Lord, the Chief Executive Officer of Sallie Mae, was there to witness the results of his company's relationship with Building Hope.
E.L. Haynes, which operates on two campuses in the District with over 600 students, has worked with Building Hope in a number of transactions, is another study in the effectiveness of this unique bond. A top performing public charter school, E.L. Haynes was founded in 2004 on "nationally recognized best practices" so that "...every E.L. Haynes student of every race, socioeconomic status, and home language will reach high levels of academic achievement and be prepared to succeed at the college of his or her choice." This mission is being accomplished: in 2009, 80% of E.L. Haynes scored proficient or advanced in math, while 66% scored proficient or advanced in reading. These results represent a three-year gains of 50 percentage points in math and 26 percentage points in reading. With this record, E.L. Haynes was one of only two schools to receive the highest rating possible DC Public Charter School Board's review. A self proclaimed, "exceptional inner city school," E.L. Haynes is testament to Dizzy Dean's observation that, "..it ain't bragging if its true."
This "inner city" description is worthy of note as most public charter schools are located in low income neighborhoods . E.L. Haynes, in the District of Columbia, has a student body consisting of 54% African-American and 25% Latino, with almost two thirds qualifying for a free or reduced lunch. Building Hope has observed the presence of these institutions and the performance of the individual students revitalize communities in the District and across the country. This school-centered renaissance of neighborhoods, a major goal of Sallie Mae in funding Building Hope, is one of the overlooked highlights in an otherwise bleak real estate market. For this work, Building Hope was selected for the Baptist Award from First City Bank for improving the economic health of these communities in our nation's capitol.
Not only do public charter schools in the District benefit along with their students and communities from Building Hope's endeavors, so does the entire education system. A Businesswire study found that competition from public charter schools increased test scores in traditional education districts, benefitting all students. In the most stringent test of all, that of consumer choice, the demand for public charter schools is evinced by the estimated 365,000 students on waiting lists across the country. Without the vision of Sallie Mae in establishing Building Hope in 2003, thousands more would be on the outside, looking in rather than receiving the best education possible.
This competition from public charter schools that improves test scores for all and the demand for their services from students also comes at a lower cost. A 2008 study of every state with public charters and the District of Columbia found that these students are funded at less than two-thirds the cost of public school pupils. On average, charter schools receive $6585 per pupil while public schools are allotted $10,771
As with all relationships that expand and endure, Building Hope and Sallie Mae continue to share the same goals of improving the performance of public charter schools while stimulating the local community economically, socially and culturally. Towards these objectives, in 2009 Building Hope invested $12 million in five public charter school projects in the District, $11.5 million in seven Florida projects, and $1.4 million in four projects in Delaware and Louisian. Since Sallie Mae funded Building Hope in 2004, 28,000 students in the District of Columbia and tens of thousands more across the country are attending public charter schools as a result of this largesse. These students are also registering higher scores with reduced costs. Public charter schools are working is the story, and Sallie Mae's relationship with Building Hope is a very important chapter that has led to a happy ending for all.