CASTLE ROCK – After receiving high marks in a recent state survey for parental involvement and school leadership, the Douglas County school board was recently recognized again, receiving the Pioneer Award from the non-partisan Colorado League of Charter Schools.
“We’re honored to receive this award as it acknowledges Douglas County School District’s commitment to putting what’s best for our students first and our belief in school choice,” said Board of Education member Doug Benevento. “As the only public school district in Colorado to fully embrace charter schools, this recognition truly reemphasizes our belief that parents and families know what is best for their child.”
Former Democratic Governor Roy Romer, who signed Colorado’s Charter Schools Act in 1993 into law before ultimately going on to become Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District for five years, also received recognition from the group.
The awards were part of the Colorado League of Charter Schools’ effort to celebrate the 20th anniversary of charter schools in Colorado, and to recognize the efforts of Romer, Douglas County and others, “[i]n recognition for [their] contributions to the Colorado Charter School Community.”
Like Romer, Douglas County education reformers have been involved in the charter schools effort for decades, opening Academy Charter School in Castle Rock – one of the first of two such schools to open in the state.
Today, the Douglas County school district boasts 12 charter schools, with two more slated to open during the 2013-2014 school year.
“Douglas County School District’s flexibility and cooperation was vital to the opening of Academy Charter School and its successors during the first few years of charter school existence in Colorado,” said Nora E. Flood, President of Colorado League of Charter Schools. “DCSD continues to be a leader in charter school authorizing today.”
According to the school district, over 10,000 Douglas County students attend one of a dozen charter schools. Statewide, nearly 100,000 students attend charter schools.
“[Douglas County] has pioneered efforts in charter school facility financing, funding equity, and special education,” concluded Flood. “All of this made DCSD a natural choice as a recipient of a Charter School Pioneer Award in honor of the 20th anniversary of Colorado charter schools.”