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‘Sustainability’ of Kensington Charter School Questioned

Crossway Community Montessori School parents say they feel pressured by aggressive fundraising goals.

Crossway Community Montessori School is Montgomery County, MD's first and only charter school. Credit: Damian Garde.
Crossway Community Montessori School is Montgomery County, MD's first and only charter school. Credit: Damian Garde.

By Whitney Teal

Raising enough money to keep Crossway Community Montessori School open through the end of this school year has proved challenging for the Kensington charter school’s leaders. The ominous future of Montgomery County’s first and only charter school has parents feeling the pressure, too, The Gazette reported.

At a recent meeting of the Montgomery County Council’s Education Committee, Councilwoman Valerie Ervin said Crossway Community parents had contacted her about “feeling a lot of pressure,” the newspaper reported.

“I’m just getting a sense of the enormity of the burden that this puts on the families that have to then raise the money to keep you guys going — that’s my concern,” said Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring, according to The Gazette.

The Washington Post reported in June that Crossway Community needs $150,000 annually to fill the gap between what Montgomery County Public Schools provides and what the school requires to run its Montessori program for children younger than 5.

The Post noted that the school had yet to create “a sustainable business model.” Larry Bowers, the county school system’s chief operating officer, echoed the sentiment. Bowers told The Gazette that he wants to speak with the Board of Education and Superintendent Joshua Starr about the “sustainability of the model.”

Crossway Community Montessori opened for its first school year in the fall of 2012.

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