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|Title I. Definitions
Title II. Findings
Title III. Purposes
Title IV. Local School Commission
Title V. School Improvement Plan
Title VI. Monitoring
Title VII. Funding and Appropriation
Title VIII. Rulemaking and Implementation
Title IX. Fiscal Impact
Title X. Effective Date
Councilmember Frank Smith, Jr.
A BILL IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
To improve the quality of public education in the District of Columbia by establishing Local School Commission to provide parents, principals, teachers, and the local school communities with an expanded role in the direct administration of schools; to grant individual principals the professional authority and independence to make administrative decisions regarding their schools; to enable public schools to compete by putting them in equal administrative circumstances as private or charter schools.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the District of Columbia Public Schools Administrative Reform and Community Accountability Act of 1998.
For the purposes of this act, the term:
(1) Authority means the District of Columbia Financial
Responsibility and Management
(2) Board means the District of Columbia Board of Education.
(3) Control year means any fiscal year for which a financial plan and budget approved by the Authority is in effect and includes fiscal year 1996.
(4) Commission means a local school Commission established by this act.
(5) Mayor means the Mayor of the District of Columbia.
(6) Non-resident student means a student who attends a D.C. Public School and does not have a parent residing in the District of Columbia.
(7) Parent means a person who has custody of a child attending a public school, who is a natural parent of the child, a stepparent of the child, has adopted the child, or appointed as a guardian for the child by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(8) Public school means a public school under the authority and control of the Board.
(9) Superintendent means the Superintendent of the District of Columbia Public Schools.
(10) Teacher means any person employed as a teacher by the Board.
The Council of the District of Columbia finds that:
(l) Strategies must be developed for revitalization of public schools in the District of Columbia by fundamentally changing the administrative system of public education through comprehensive, coherent, and coordinated improvement towards the objective of increasing student learning and providing all students with effective mechanisms and appropriate paths to the work force and to higher education.
(2) Encouraging educational excellence is in the best interest of the people of the District of Columbia.
(3) Educational excellence can be achieved when schools compete for students, when teachers can choose where to teach, and when each public school has control over its administration, operations, and expenditures.
(4) The District of Columbia has educators, members of the community, parents, and teachers who can offer innovative educational techniques and programs through independent means.
(5) Parents and teachers associated with individual public schools must be involved in developing strategies to improve student performance.
(6) Simultaneous top-down and bottom-up administrative reform is necessary to spur creative and innovative approaches by individual public schools to help all students achieve nationally and internationally competitive standards.
(7)Local public schools must be given more autonomy over their administration, operations, and expenditures but must be held accountable for the manner in which they exercise that autonomy.
The statutory purposes of this act are to:
(l) To improve the quality of learning by making public schools nationally and internationally competitive in terms of student performance and curriculum standards;
(2) Increase learning opportunities for all students;
(3) Encourage diverse approaches in learning and education, including appropriate and innovative use of technology;
(4) Stimulate the use and development of different and innovative teaching methods designed to achieve student performance and curriculum standards specified in a school's improvement and measured by standardized tests or assessments administered by the Board or the Superintendent .
(5) Create new professional-opportunities for-teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program used by a public school;
(6) Provide parents, teachers, and students with expanded role in the administration of their local schools;
(7) Hold principals and their teachers accountable for achieving student performance levels as specified by the Commission and the Board;
(8) Provide public schools with a method to change from the traditional rule-based to performance-based accountability systems; and
(9) Offer the District with administratively independent public schools that are accountable to the community that they serve.
Sec. 401. Establishment
(a) There shall be established in each public school, a Local School Commission to act as trustees for the public school. Each Local School Commission shall consist of the following voting members: the principal of the school, 2 teachers employed and assigned to perform the majority of their duties at the school; 6 parents of students currently enrolled in the school; and 2 community residents. In each high school, the Local School Commission shall consist of 12 members: the l l members described above and l full-time student appointed according to the provisions of this act.
(b) Neither the parents nor the community residents who serve as members of the Local School Commission shall be employees of the Board.
Sec. 402. Power and duties
Notwithstanding any other provisions of the law, the Commission shall have and exercise the following powers:
(a) To directly select for the school, a principal who shall serve on a two-year performance contract.
(b) To evaluate the performance of the principal of the school taking into consideration the annual performance evaluation of the principal conducted by the Superintendent and determine whether the performance contract of the principal should be renewed. In the event the Commission does not renew the performance contract of the principal, or the principal fails to attain a satisfactory rating by the Superintendent, or the principal is removed for cause during the term of his or her performance contract, or a vacancy otherwise occurs prior to the expiration of the terms of the performance contract of a principal; and the Commission fails to select a new principal within 30 days of the vacancy, the Commission shall submit to the Superintendent, a list of 5 candidates listed in the Commission's order of preference. The Superintendent shall select one of the candidates to serve as the principal of the school on a two-year performance contract. If within 15 days, the Superintendent fails or refuses to select a principal among the list of candidate, the person on top of the preferred list shall be appointed as the principal of the school on a one-year performance contract.
(c) To establish additional criteria to be included as part of the evaluation criteria for principal provided that such criteria shall not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, creed, color or disability unrelated to ability to perform. The additional criteria shall be used by the Superintendent in the annual evaluation of the principal.
(e) To appoint a Financial Officer for the school with the consent and approval of the Board. In a control year, the appointment of the school's Financial Officer shall be by the District's Chief Financial Officer to whom the Financial officer shall report.
(f) To approve the expenditure plan prepared by the Financial Officer in conjunction with the principal with respect to all funds allocated and distributed to the school by the Board and those funds raised through private donations, grants, gifts, or other devices. To approve, in accordance with Board rules and policies, receipts and expenditures for all internal accounts of the school and to approve all fundraising activities by nonschool organizations.
(g) To make recommendations to the principal concerning textbook selection and curriculum developed pursuant to the school improvement plan which is consistent with system-wide curriculum objectives adopted by the Board.
(h) To advise the principal concerning the attendance and disciplinary policies for the school subject to the provisions of the law and consistent with uniform system of discipline established by the Board.
(i) To approve a school improvement plan developed according to this act. The process and schedule for plan development shall be publicized in the entire school community and the community shall be afforded the opportunity to make recommendations concerning the plan. At least twice a year, the local school Commission shall report publicly on progress and problems with respect to plan implementation.
(j) To evaluate the allocation of teaching resources and other certificated and uncertificated staff of the school to determine whether such allocation is consistent with and in furtherance of instructional objectives and school program reflective of the school improvement plan adopted for the school.
(k) To grant, in accordance with Board rules and policies, the use of the school facility for public meetings, concerts and other social or religious activities when not otherwise needed for academic purposes.
Sec. 403. Manner of Operation
Each local school Commission shall be administered as follows:
(a) There shall be an annual organization meeting to be held at the school no sooner than July 1 and no later than July 14 of each year. At the annual organization meeting, a parent member of the Commission shall be selected by the members of the Commission as its Chairman and a Secretary shall be selected among its members. Whenever a vacancy in the office of chairman or secretary shall occur, a new Chairman who shall be a parent or secretary as the case may be, shall be selected among the members to serve the unexpired term of the office. At the annual meeting, the time and place of the regular meetings shall be fixed. Special meeting of the Commission may be called by the Chairman or any 4 members of the Commission giving notice thereof in writing, specifying the time, place and purpose of the meeting. Public notice of the meeting shall also be given in accordance with applicable open meetings law.
(b) Except for the reimbursement of expenses incurred in the performance of their
(c) A majority of the full membership of the Commission shall constitute a quorum and whenever a vote is taken on any measure, a quorum being present, the affirmative vote of the full membership the Commission shall determine the outcome of the measure except as provided in subsection (d).
(d) The principal and student member of a Commission shall not be counted for the purposes of determining a quorum and shall not vote in- any measure regarding the evaluation of the principal, the performance contract of the principal, and the selection of a principal in case of a vacancy, and the termination of the principal. Student member of high school Commission shall not be eligible to vote on personnel matters, including but not limited to principal and teachers evaluation and contracts, and allocation of teaching and staff resources.
(e) The Commission in a school which provides bilingual education shall be encouraged to provide translators at every meeting of the Commission to maximize participation of parents and the community.
(f) Each Commission of a school that provides bilingual education shall create a bilingual advisory committee as a standing committee. The Chairman and a majority of the members of the committee shall be parents of students in the bilingual education program. The parents in the advisory committee shall be selected by parents of students in the bilingual education program and the committee shall select the Chairman. The advisory committee for each high school shall include at least 1 full time bilingual education student.
Sec. 404. Election and Appointment of Members
The following procedure shall apply to the election of members of the local school Commission of each school:
(a) Beginning with the year 2000 school year, and in every even numbered year thereafter, the Board shall set the last Tuesday of the second semester as the election day for local school Commissions.
(b) The Board shall publicize the date and place of the elections by
posting notices at the
(c) Not less than 4 weeks before the election date, persons eligible to run for the parent member and the community resident member of the Commission shall submit to the Board a nomination document signed by at least 30 parents of students currently enrolled in the school. Each person nominated shall disclose in a manner determined by the Board, any economic interest held by that person, by that persons spouse or children, or by such business entity in which that person has an ownership interest, in any contract with the Board, any local school Commission or any public school. Each person nominated shall also disclose in a manner determined by the Board, any convictions for any crime. Failure to make the disclosure shall render the person ineligible for election to the local school Commission. The same disclosure requirements shall be applicable to the teacher members of the Commission.
(d) Voting shall be in person by secret ballot at the school between the hours of 6:00 AM and 7:00 PM. The Board shall declare person receiving the highest number of votes as elected to the Commission. The Board shall certify the results of the elections and shall publish the results in a newspaper of general circulation.
(e) The Superintendent shall resolve any disputes concerning election procedures and results and shall ensure that no resources of any attendance center shall be used to endorse or promote any candidates.
A 4 year school improvement plan shall be developed and implemented at each school. The plan shall reflect the overriding purposes of the school to improve educational quality. The plan shall be developed by the principal in consultation with the Commission, all categories of school staff, parents and community residents. Once the plan is developed and approved by the Commission, the principal shall be responsible for directing the implementation of the plan and the Commission shall monitor the implementation. After the termination of the initial plan, a new plan shall be developed and modified as appropriate.
(a) The improvement plan shall be designed to achieve priority goals including but not limited to the following:
Sec. 601. Monitoring
(a) The Superintendent shall monitor, assess, and evaluate the operations of each Commission to determine the extent to which it complies with the provisions of this act and other applicable laws; and the extent to which the school is meeting or making satisfactory progress toward implementing its improvement plan.
(b) The Superintendent may require a Commission to produce any book, record, paper, or document, if the Superintendent determines that the production is necessary to carry out his functions under this act.
Sec. 602. Revocation of Independence
(a) Upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, the Board may, at any time, terminate a Commission under this act if it determines that the Commission has committed a violation of applicable laws, has materially deviated from its improvement plan, or if the school fails to show any measurable academic improvement 5 years after the Commission was initially assembled.
(b) The Board shall terminate a Commission if it determines that the Commission:
(c) In the event of a revocation, the Board shall comply with the following procedures:
(d) If the Board determines that a Commission be terminated, the Board manage the school directly until until alternative arrangements can be made to empanel another Commission.
(e) If the Board determines that a Commission should be terminated, the Council, upon a
Sec. 701. Appropriation
(a) Beginning in fiscal year 2000 and in each fiscal year thereafter, from amounts available in the fiscal year budget for public schools, the Board shall allocate a lump sum to each public school using the per pupil funding formula adopted in the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula for Public Schools and Charter Schools Act of 1998 (Bill 12----) except that the lump sum shall take into account the following:
Sec. 702. Expenditure
(a) In consultation with the Commission and the Financial Officer, the school principal shall develop an expenditure plan which reflects the priorities and activities described in the schools improvement plan. The expenditure plan shall be consistent with applicable law and collectivebargaining agreements, however, the Commission shall have the right to request from the Board, waivers of board policy and waiver of employee collective bargaining agreements. The expenditure plan developed by the principal with respect to amount available from the fund for prioritized special needs programs and the allocated lump sum amount must be approved by the Commission.
(b) The Commission shall have the right to request the principal to close both academic and nonacdemic staff positions and open new ones consistent with the improvement plan provided that the decision is consistent with applicable law and collective bargaining agreements. If a position is closed pursuant to this subsection, the school shall have for its use, the average system-wide compensation for the closed position. Operating within existing laws and collective bargaining agreements, the Commission shall have the right to direct the principal to shift expenditures within the fund.
(c) The Commission shall have the right to opt out of any system-wide thrid party contract for services and provide the service at the school level. In the event that a Commission decides to opt out of a contract for system-wide service contract, the Board shall adjust the lump sum allocation to reflect the option.
(d) Any funds unexpended at the end of the fiscal year shall be available to the school for its use as part of its budget for the following fiscal year.
The Board shall isssue rules to implement this act within 180 days. The Board may develop an implementation pilot program in fiscal year 1999, provided that such pilot program shall include at least one school in each ward.
The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the Committee Report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 602(c)(3) of the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Code §1-233(c)(3)).
This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), approval by the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority as provided in section 203(a) of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority Act of 1995, approved April 17, 1995 (109 Stat. 116; D.C. Code §47-392.3(c)), and a 30-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Code §1-233(c)(1)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.
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