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Campaign Materials for the School Governance Charter Amendment
June 8, 2000

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Mayor’s press release Mayor’s Office of Communications flyer
Councilmember Kevin Chavous flyer #1 Councilmember Kevin Chavous flyer #2


SUITE 1100
(202) 727-6224
For Immediate Release:
June 8, 2000
Contact: Peggy Armstrong
(202) 727-5011

Mayor pledges vigorous campaign for "accountability, leadership and change"

(Washington, D.C.) Mayor Anthony A. Williams joined congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Chairman Linda Cropp, Council Education Chair Kevin Chavous, other Council members, parents, teachers, and PTA leaders from across the city to launch the "Yes on June 27`h" campaign to bring "accountability, leadership, and change now" to our school system. The campaign aims to make our school board more accountable by building a combined elected and appointed school board with a well-defined role of policymaking. The event was held at J.O. Wilson Elementary School in Northeast, on the front lines of the effort to improve education in the city.

"There is no more pressing issue in this city than making our schools work for our children," said Mayor Williams. "We need a school system that is dedicated to helping our children achieve their full potential and supports the hard work of our dedicated parents and teachers. I am calling on voters in this city to do the right thing for our students-vote yes on June 27th. Yes for accountability, yes for leadership, and yes for change now. Because our children can't wait any longer."

Mary Levy, a parent and long-time PTA activist, is chairing the campaign effort. "This is the change we need if we're going to get good schools," said Ms. Levy. "We can't keep our families in the District unless we show parents they can send their children to good schools here." Former D.C. Council member Bill Lightfoot is the treasurer.

Speakers joining Ms. Levy and elected officials at the launch event were: J.O. Wilson Principal Erma Fields and Wilson students Christen Greene and Isaac Marsh. The campaign is supported by a broad range of parents, teachers, principals, clergy, business leaders, elected officials, and PTA members. A list of supporters is attached.

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DC Citizens for Accountability, Leadership and Change

1. Charles Alston, Ward 7
2. Cornelius Baker, Ward 1, Executive Director, Whitman Walker Clinic
3. Paul Bennet, Ward 3
4. Max Berry, Ward 3
5. Rod Boggs, Ward 3, Executive Director of Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
6. Virginia Bourassa, Ward 2
7. Max Brown, Ward 2, Carmen Group
8. Ivy Clare Chaine, Ward 4
9. Angelo Chang, Ward 6
10. Montina Cole, Ward 4
11. Floretta Duke McKenzie, Ward 3, Former Superintendent, D.C. Public Schools
12. Lou Durden, Ward 4
13. Gautam Dutta, Ward 6
14. Pat Elwood, Ward 3, Vice Chair of D.C. Democratic State Committee
15. Terry Golden, Ward 3, President/CEO Host Marriott International
16. Deanna Hall, Ward 6
17. Everett Hamilton, Ward 6, Human Rights Campaign
18. Joseph Harriston, Ward 4, Chair ANC 4A03
19. Kwasi Holman, President & CEO, New York Ave. Development Corporation
20. Butch Hopkins, Jr., Anacostia Economic Development Corporation
21. Everett Jennings, Ward 1, Board of Black Pride, D.C.
22. John Fanning, Ward 2, Candidate Ward 2
23. Betsy Kim, Ward 4
24. Tim Kime. Executive Director, Leadership Washington
25. Jim Kimsey, AOL Incorporated
26. Howard Kreitzman, Ward 3
27. William Lightfoot, Ward 4, Former Councilmember At-Large
28. Norm Linsky & Family, President Elect, PTA, School Without Walls
29. Reverend Leon Lipscombe, Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church
30. Elizabeth Lisboa-Farrow, Ward 4, President, D.C. Chamber of Commerce
31. David Marlin, Ward 3
32. Vey Martini, Ward 3
33. Jim Nathanson, Former Councilmember, Ward 3, Former School Board Member
34. Norman Neverson & Family, Ward 4, Chair of D.C. Democratic State Committee
35. Diane Minor, Ward 2
36. John H. "Skip" McKoy, President and CEO, DC Agenda
37. Todd Mosley, Ward 1, Treasurer of Columbia Heights Civic Association
38. Reverend Anthony Motley, Redemption Ministries
39. I. Raj Pahwa, Ward 5, Chair of DC Commission on Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs
40. Glenda Partee, Ward 4, American Youth Policy Forum
41. John Payton, Wilmer, Culter & Pickering
42. David Perry, Ward 6
43. John Pfeiffer, Ward 6, Former PTA President, Capitol Hill Cluster School
44. Hollace Pouncie, Ward 1
45. Reverend Dedric Pollins, Ward 2, Greater Word Church
46. Thorn Pozen, Ward 3, President of Ward 3 Democratics
47. John Ray, Ward 4, Former Chair, D.C. City Council
48. Mirian Saez, Ward 3
49. Irasema Salcido, Ward 1, Principal, Cesar Chavez Public Charter School, Former Vice Principal, Bell Multicultural High School
50. Reverend Morris Shearin, Ward 5, Israel Baptist Church
51. Reverend Franklin Senger, Ward 7, Lutheran of the Holy Comforter Church
52. Russ Simmons, Ward 5, Riggs Bank
53. Rev. Wallace Charles Smith, Ward 1, Shiloh Baptist Church
54. Linda Softli, Chair, ANC 1 C03
55. Carrie Thornhill, Ward 7, DC Agenda
56. Reverend Frank Tucker, Ward 4, First Baptist Randolph Street, Ward
57. Virginia Walden, Ward 4, D.C. Parents for Choice
58. Meg Weekes, SHS PTSA Executive Committee
59. Frank Wilds & Family, Ward 5, President of Ward 5 Democratics
60. Josh Wyner, Ward 3, Executive Director, DC Appleseed Institute
61. Veronica Wilson, Ward 5
62. Shelia White, Ward 6, DC Democratic State Committee

As of June 8, 2000

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June 8, 2000

"Our democracy depends on educating and preparing our young people for the workforce and for their duties as citizens. That's why 1 am calling on voters in this city to do the right thing for our students — vote Yes on June 27th. Yes for accountability, yes for leadership, and yes for change now. Because our children can't wait any longer." — Mayor Anthony A. Williams

Mayor Williams strongly supports the June 27th referendum to bring the accountability, leadership, and change our schools desperately need. The referendum would establish a nine-member appointed and elected school board. For the first time, it would define the role of the board to focus on policymaking, not politicking or micromanaging.

GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY. The referendum will create a smaller, more focused, more accountable school board and will give the Mayor and the Council a clear role in fixing our schools. "It would be easy for me - or members of the Council - to hide behind the complexity and bureaucracy and say, 'We're not responsible for the schools.' But I believe hardworking educators and parents deserve clear lines of accountability, not a bowl of spaghetti," said Mayor Williams.

STRONG LEADERSHIP FROM MAYOR WILLIAMS. Mayor Williams has made improving our schools a central priority of his administration, and is asking voters to say "yes" to the referendum so that the reforms we have begun can continue. Already, Mayor Williams has:

  • Fought successfully for a budget including full funding for our schools - including a $70 million increase next year.
  • Funded a $100 million school modernization initiative to renovate eight schools a year for the next ten years.
  • Supported new initiatives to recruit new principals and teachers.
  • Launched a public private-partnership to create 30 new afterschool programs.

A COMMITMENT TO CHANGE. Despite tremendous progress made under Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, Mayor Williams believes urgent change is needed to improve our schools. This referendum will help the Mayor ensure that reforms continue. "Make no mistake, we have work to do," says Mayor Williams. "Our schools still aren't making the grade. We have schools with leaking roofs, libraries with outdated books and many students without access to modern technology. We need a school board that will be a strong partner for us as we push through an aggressive agenda of change."

OUR CHILDREN CAN'T WAIT. Mayor Williams is advocating this change now because our children can't wait any longer for real leadership in our schools. While some would say we should wait a few years for the system to improve, Mayor Williams recognizes that even a few years in a child's education-particularly in elementary school--can make a huge difference in the life of a child. "When it comes to our children's education, every second counts," said the Mayor. "Our children can't wait. I urge every citizen: get out and vote. Say yes to better schools."


GET INVOLVED! For more information, visit our website at

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Vote "YES" on Measure #3

What the Charter Amendment Measure #3* says:

The roles and responsibilities of the Board of Education are defined:

  • Govern the public schools in the District of Columbia
  • Establish policy
  • Hire, evaluate and can remove a superintendent who shall be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the public schools
  • Approve an annual budget
  • Establish personnel policy, but not make personnel decisions or negotiate with representatives of employee organizations

A nine member Board of Education - 5 elected and 4 appointed.

  • The president is elected at-large.
  • 4 members are elected from 4 "school districts" structured as follows:

District I Wards 1 and 2
District II Wards 3 and 4
District III Wards 5 and 6
District IV Wards 7 and 8

  • 4 members are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Council.

Council shall establish a State Education Agency to:

  • Monitor academic credit granted by public, public charter and private schools
  • Prescribe minimum instructional time and standards for these schools

The Amendment becomes law when:

  1. A majority of those voting in the special election ratify the Charter Amendment; and
  2. After a 35-day Congressional review.

The Amendment shall expire in 4 years and Council and citizens will assess what changes, if any, are needed.

*D.C. Act 13-295, "School Governance Charter Amendment Act of 2000"

Ward 7 Councilmember Kevin P. Chavous
441 4`" St. NW # Washington, DC 20001 * (202) 724-8068

Vote "YES" for positive change.
We need a strong School Board
and better schools for our children.

Twenty years is enough. We can't continue with a Board of Education that is unsure of its roles and responsibilities. Or that is too large to be effective. Or doesn't have the needed experience or expertise.

A "YES" vote for the "The School Governance Charter Amendment Act of 2000" means a Board with:

Clear roles and responsibilities

  • A Board that sets policy but doesn't micromanage.
  • A Board that hires and fires a superintendent, and then lets that superintendent run the day-to-day operation of the public schools.
  • A Board that can build a budget and "sell" it to DC voters.
  • A Board that establishes personnel policy, but not make personnel decisions or negotiate with employee organizations.

A smaller more effective nine member Board

  • Five elected Board members who represent more than a narrow ward.
  • Nine members - five elected and four appointed members - a number that makes agreement easier.

A strong, balanced Board

  • Four appointed Board members selected because of their educational, finance and management expertise.
  • Appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council.

Ward 7 Councilmember Kevin P. Chavous
441 4th St. NW * Washington, DC 20001 * (202) 724-8068

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Vote "YES" on Measure #3

How the Charter Amendment will appear on the ballot:


"The School Governance Charter Amendment Act of 2000"

This Charter Amendment, if passed, would amend The Home Rule Act by:

  • Reducing the number of Members of the Board of Education from 11 to 9;
  • Combining eight election wards to create four new school election districts;
  • Allowing voters to elect four Members from new school election districts;
  • Allowing voters to elect one Member at-large as Board President; and
  • Allowing the Mayor to appoint four Members to be confirmed by the City Council.

The Charter Amendment will allow the Board to hire, evaluate and remove the Superintendent, establish personnel policies for hiring principals, and approve an annual budget. This Amendment allows the City Council to create a state education agency, and directs that the provision for the make-up of the new Board and the school election districts will end in four years. Thereafter, the selection and size of the Board shall be made according to local law.

Ward 7 Councilmember Kevin P. Chavous
441 4th St. NW * Washington, DC 20001 * (202) 724-8068

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