Schwartz: Good Schools Key to Thriving Bases

Establishing quality schools, including charter schools where state laws permit, for Air Force installations is integral to creating “thriving communities” at those locations, said Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. “The key thing to creating a thriving community is the right kind of school, whether it’s on or off base,” he told the House Appropriations Committee’s military construction panel on March 1. Schwartz said charter schools have “a place” in that equation. He cited existing charter schools at JB Andrews, Md., Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and Little Rock AFB, Ark. “They are fully subscribed,” including “youngsters from both on base and off base,” he said. Schwartz credited the private housing developers at those locations for recognizing “the wisdom of having good schools” that serve the housing communities that they wish to see at full occupancy. Accordingly, these private developers “have donated substantial resources to get the charter school started,” he said. “This is a win-win,” continued Schwartz. “A good school means their [housing] occupancy is 100 percent, and it means that our parents are confident their kids are getting the education they should.” (Schwartz’s prepared testimony)