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School Choice & Charters

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Isn’t the First Celebrity to Open a Charter School

By Arianna Prothero — March 28, 2016 2 min read

Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs (A.K.A. P. Diddy or Puff Daddy) is opening a charter school in New York City, according to the Associated Press.

In doing so, Combs joins a small group of celebrities—mostly sports stars by my very unofficial count—who have launched charter schools.

For the uninitiated, charter schools are publicly funded, but independently run schools. Whether an educator or famous athlete, you can open a charter school in 42 states plus Washington D.C., as long as you can convince an authorizer—either a school district, a university, a state agency, or a nonprofit, depending upon your state’s law—that you have a solid proposal for a school.

Combs’ Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School will open in the fall and be run by Steve Perry, the founder of a Hartford, Connecticut magnet school, reports the AP.

But Combs is not the first celebrity to open a charter school, or even the first rapper.

Here’s a short list I’ve put together of the handful of other celebrities, mostly athletes, who have waded into the charter school sector, with varying degrees of success:

Did I miss anyone? If so, please feel free to add them to the comments section below.

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Photo: Sean Combs attends a ceremony in Los Angeles in January. —Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP-File

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.