Conflict between DCPS and PCSB

During the early 2000s there was a conflict between the D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) and the Public Charter School Board over whether or not to convert a number of empty DCPS buildings into charter schools. DCPS was reluctant to surrender buildings it claimed could be used in the future. Meanwhile, DCPS faced financial pressure to use the surplus buildings for commercial purposes. Due to the poor reputation of DCPS and the influence of advocates for charter schools such as FOCUS, many buildings were converted into charter schools. Public charter schools have become increasingly popular in the District of Columbia, with 27, 953 students enrolled in the city's charter schools for the academic year 2010-2011 compared with 3,514 students for the academic year 1998-1999.