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The DC Voter
League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
Vol. 77, No. 3, March 2001

Making Our Voices Heard — Making Our Votes Count

733 15th Street, N.W., Suite 432, Washington, DC 20005
202/347-3020,  fax: 202/347-2522
Website:, E-mail:

President’s Corner, Liz Martin
March 2001 Unit Meeting Schedule
Members News
DC Representation in Congress
IR Committee
NCA Notes
Education Committee
Voters Service
Calendar, March 2001
Business Meeting Insert
Symposium on Trade Insert
Charter Schools Membership Meeting Insert

Brown Bag Dialogue featuring

Michael C. Rodgers
Executive Director
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

Overview of C.O.G. & Current Issues

Monday, March 26
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
1730 M Street NW, 101 Floor

Bring your own brown bag lunch - beverage machine available. — Pat Hallman


March is a busy month for Leaguers. We have a General Meeting on Charter Schools March 15 at Sumner School with GW professor Michele Moore (see flyer). Many thanks to Gladys Weaver and Connie Tate, co-chairs, who have been working on this issue for two years. The following week we will take consensus at our Units. Also on March 15, the US League is holding an Election Symposium at the National Press Club (see calendar). Given the problems with the last election, this is a timely topic.

Janet Burmester, member of the US League's Trade Task Force, has arranged a dynamite panel for Task Force member and other League members on March 2 (see flyer). Don't miss the opening session with Professor John H. Jackson, architect of the World Trade Organization.

We had a lively meeting on health care issues and the future of DC General Hospital at UDC on February 15 arranged by Natalie Howard of the Upper 16th Unit. The future of the hospital is a contentious and controversial issue. The good news is that Leaguers are finally getting interested. Our challenge is to understand how to put in place a workable safety net for our most vulnerable citizens. Please call the League office if you are interested in serving on the Health Care committee.  — Elizabeth M. Martin, President

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Moving Forward in a New Millennium

Mark your calendar and Plan Now to attend the 81st LWVDC Annual Dinner Meeting

April 26, 2001

Guest Speaker
Dr. Paul Vance, DCPS Superintendent
Gallaudet University Kellogg Campus
Reservation flyer will be in April DC Voter

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The March Unit Meetings (listed below) will be led by members of the Education Committee. In-depth discussion of the DC Charter Schools will take place with the intent of developing consensus statements for the DC League of Women Voters. Members are encouraged to attend the general membership meeting on March 15th (see below and flyer) for background information that will assist in the Unit discussion. Sheila Keeny, Unit Director, 966-1692

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, Unit Meetings

Southwest, 9:45 a.m., Hostess, MacClair Arlt, 554-4031, 560 N St., SW, # N802
Northwest Day, 1:00 p.m., Iona House, 4125 Albemarle St., NW, Chair: Jeanette Miller, 362-1203

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, Unit Meetings

Chevy Chase, 9:45 a.m., Hostess: Mary Rodgers, 244-1933, 4601 31th St., NW
Upper 16th Street, 9:45 a.m., Hostess: Susan Rao, 636-1688, 1620 Hamlin St., NE

THURSDAY, MARCH 22, Unit Meetings

Northeast Day, Unit members are invited to attend one of the other Unit meetings listed this month.
Northwest Eve. 7:30 p.m., Hostess: Geri Albers, 362-2605, 4000 Mass. Ave., NW, #1510

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New Members: A hearty welcome to new members: Polly Franchine and Virginia Weyres.

Contributions: We gratefully thank members who made additional contributions to the League: June C. Bashkin, Jan Blair, Frank Daspit, Eva S. Hamburg, Morelia R. Hansen, Roberta Johnson, Robert Stiehler, Frances P. Wilkinson,

Special Bequeath: The LWVDC is grateful for the generous gift bequeathed to us by Leaguer and League husband Irving Panzer, in memory of his wife, Sue Panzer. Sums a native-Washingtonian, was a longtime League member who served superbly in nearly every portfolio that exists. She served two terms as president during the '80s, but her commitment didn't stop then. She went on to organize and chair a forum on the District of Columbia that enjoyed enormous success in all areas, including financial. She then went on to form a committee on D.C. Council oversight. It is impossible to overstate the ways in which Sue Panzer and her husband contributed to League activities. We miss them both.

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MARK YOUR CALENDARS: DC Vote will sponsor a rally on Monday, April 16, income tax return deadline day because the 15th is on a Sunday this year. DC residents will be protesting our status as citizens who are taxed but who have no representation in the Senate nor in the House of Representatives as do all other US citizens. Time and place will be listed in the April VOTER. Come and bring your friends. — Kathy Schmidt, DC Vote Liaison 232-6460

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As we go to press the Unit meetings on trade are still ahead. We encourage all members to attend the March 2 Symposium on trade arranged by LWVUS member Janet Burmester for the LWVUS Trade Task Force (see flyer). — Sheila Keeny, Co-Chair, 966-1692

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D.C. Finances: Recent letters from members of NCA-member Leagues to Maryland and Virginia legislators mark the first step of transforming policy into action on the NCA position on D.C. Finances. The next step making sure that we have responses -- is pivotal. NCA, through its member Leagues, has a unique opportunity to lay the foundation for legislation that will address the issue of an adequate revenue base for the District of Columbia. We know there are various ways for the federal government to provide substantial, predictable financial support for the District every year. We also know that the Maryland and Virginia delegations will certainly oppose a commuter tax.

If only we knew what they *would* support for expanding the District's revenue base! Then we would understand what it will take to achieve legislative success on our D.C. Finances position. Their responses to the current National Voter article and to Eleanor Holmes Norton's nonresident income tax legislation would greatly help the League reach that critical understanding. Our letter writers will be sending their replies to Elinor Hart, NCA's D.C. Finances Chair.

LWVUS Board Meetings: We need volunteers to help us reestablish an Observer Corps for LWVUS board meetings held in Washington, D.C. Objective is to report significant deliberations and decisions. Their remaining scheduled meetings are scheduled for April 21-22, June 8 (pre-Council), June 9-11 (Council); June 12 (post Council), and October 20-21. If you would like to participate, let me know. — Naomi Glass, President, 686-0124,

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At the March 15, 2001 General Meeting (see enclosed flyer), the Education Committee will present their preliminary findings about the Charter School Movement in the District. In addition to the committee's findings, our speaker will be Michele Moore, co-author of "Making a Choice, Making a Difference? An Evaluation of Charter Schools in the District of Columbia," a research project of the Center for Washington Studies at the George Washington University. Ms. Moore will outline the conclusions of this study and lead an open discussion of DC Charter Schools.

This meeting is a continuation of a two-year study of charter schools that began in October 2000. The Education Committee has worked in small groups, researched information in current publications and on the Internet, met with each of the two DC Charter School Boards, and visited selected charter schools. The major focus of this year's research has been accountability as it relates to academic standards, finance, facilities and management. A report of their findings will be presented at the meeting.

March Unit Meetings (see schedule) will be lead by members of the Education Committee where in-depth discussion of the DC Charter Schools will take place with the intent of reaching consensus in this area. — Connie Tate (882-0387) & Gladys Weaver (554-3055), Co-Chairs.

General Membership Meeting on Charter Schools in the District
Date: Thursday, March 15
Time: 6:30 - 9:00 pm
Place: Lecture Hall, Sumner School
1201 17th St., NW (17th & M Streets)

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DC BOEE conducts canvass of registered voters:

Voters in the District of Columbia are being asked to actively participate in and respond to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics' canvass which is now underway.

"In January of each odd-numbered year, the Board is required. by law, to conduct a biennial canvass which is a systematic program designed to maintain and keep the voter roll accurate," stated Elections Director Alice P. Miller. "Registered voters who did not verify their registration in last year's November Presidential General Election will be mailed a canvass card. The card requests the voter to confirm their registration address. The voter is instructed to keep the card if the information is correct."

If the U.S. Postal Service returns the canvass card and provides a new address for the registrant the Board must then send a second notice to the voter at both the old and new address requesting further confirmation. The process will take approximately six months to complete and requires the cooperation of the voters and residents of the District of Columbia.

"In order to assist in the Board's effort to maintain a current voter roll, it is critical for D.C. voters to respond to the canvass," Miller explained.

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LWVUS Purchases DNet From

" sells DemocracyNet. DNet is now owned by the League of Women Voters Education Fund," announced Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, Ph.D. Chairman, League of Women Voters Education Fund in a email to all LWV Presidents.

"As such it is a completely non-profit, nonpartisan program of the LWVEF. We own the rights to the brand name, logo, domain names, and software. What does this mean? For calendar year 2001 will continue to provide technological and platform support for the DNet website. The League will identify outside vendors who will provide these services in 2002 . ...The League, as the owner of the software, can use the software itself for any purpose that it wishes. . . . There will be no advertising on the public pages of DNet. We are delighted at this turn of events and are grateful to our partner for helping to ensure that this important voter service remains in the public sector. Election 2001 is already underway and several Leagues have launched their DNet coverage. The focus on state and local elections this year offers us the opportunity to provide online candidate and election coverage unparalleled by any other source. No one else has our nationwide network and our essential connection with local communities. I encourage you to utilize DNet in your voter education activities. It is our site. Let's join together to continue to expand this unique online voter service tool, " stated Ms. Jefferson-Jenkins. Full text of the announcement can be found on the LWVUS web site at

The DC League utilized DNet providing information on 43 candidates during the 2000 election year. There are no scheduled elections for DC in 2001. "We will be watching with great interest as other Leagues work with DNet this year," states Elizabeth Martin, DC League President.

Do you know? What was the voter turnout for DC in the November election? (Answer below.) — Guy Coriden, Co-chair. (232-6759)

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Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
      1 2 9 am-4:30 pm, Symposium on Trade
5 6 7 10 am, LWVDC Board Meeting, 1730 M St., NW, 10th Fl. 8 9
12 13 April DC Voter Deadline 14 10 am, Education Committee, 733 15th St., NW, #432 15 8:30-11:30 am, LWVUS Election Reform Symposium, "Focus on the Voter," National Press Club. Call 429-1965 for more info.
6:30-9:00 pm, General Meeting, Charter Schools
19 20 Southwest, 9:45 am, Mac Clair Arlt, 554-4031, 560 N St., SW, #N802
Northwest Day, 1 pm, Iona House, 4125 Albemarle St., NW
21 Chevy Chase, 9:45 am, Mary Rodgers, 244-1933, 4601 31st St., NW
Upper 16th St., 9:45 am, Susan Rao, 636-1688, 1620 Hamlin St., NE
22 Northeast Day, Unit members are invited to attend one of the other Uni meetings this month
Northeast Eve, 7:30 pm, Geri Albers, 362-2605, 4000 Mass. Ave., NW, #1510
22 April DC Voter mailed
26 11:30 am, Brown Bag Dialogue 27 28 29 Answer 205,743 (58.1% of eligible voters) 30

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Memo to: LWVDC Members

From: Nominating Committee: Joan Domike, Chair, June Duke, Natalie Howard, Anna Marsh, Barbara Yeomans
Subject: 2001-2002 Nomination Slate
Date: February 23, 2001

The slate of nominations for officers, board members, and nominating committee members with accompanying biography information is provided below for your approval at the 81st Annual Business Meeting to be held on Thursday, April 26, 2001.


President - E. Patricia (Pat) Hallman was born, raised and educated in the District of Columbia. She attended Dunbar High School and Howard University. Pat currently has coordinated the Brown Bag Dialogues for the past several years inviting many speakers from D.C. organizations to discuss mutual concerns with the LWVDC members. Pat joined the League in 1975 and was a member of the Intown Evening Unit which met at GWU. She was immediately given the responsibility of oversight for the Housing Committee and joined the LWVDC Board. She later wore the Transportation Chair hat and continued to serve on the Board. She attended several national conventions, in New York City, Cincinnati and Washington, D.C. Pat helped establish units in the Southeast and Uptown evening in the Northwest. Pat has a combination of over thirty years experience in District and Federal government agencies. She was employed at the D.C. Department of Welfare in the Volunteer Section where she assisted in recruiting volunteers for the various D.C. agencies. Then she served at HUD in the personnel office.

2nd Vice President - Naomi Glass joined the D.C. League of Women Voters in the late 1960s and has served in numerous capacities, including president. She served on the National Capital League of Women Voters Board as Program Chair and is currently completing her second term as president. She retired from the D.C. tax department in 1991 and is still vitally interested in D.C. government affairs. Her current interests outside the League and her family include the Institute for Learning in Retirement (ask her about it if you'd like more information) and travel, when time permits.

Secretary - Kenneth Nesper, Jr. has lived in the Brookland section of Washington for 13 years and in the metropolitan area for 28 years. The U. S. Postal Service employs Ken as an information technology planner. He holds masters degrees in Foreign Policy and Public Administration. Ken joined the LWVDC in 1998 and volunteers occasionally with private elections. He currently serves as associate chair of his church's governing council and has served as chair of the finance committee, council on ministries, and board of trustees as well as recording secretary of the administrative board. Other volunteer experience includes Bread for the World, Brookland and Neighbors, Families United of Brookland, and the B&O Railroad Museum. He is married to Chris Matthews, LWVDC's treasurer.


Director - Natalie Howard is a native Washingtonian. She is a former teacher in D.C. Public Schools. Natalia joined the DC League in 1964 and is a member of the Upper 16th Street Unit. In the Unit she has served as chair, membership chair and calendar chair. As a former LWVDC Board member she served as chairs for the following committees: Arrangements, Education, and Membership. Natalie also served as Chair of the Bottle Bill Committee and Comprehensive Plan Committee as well as the Nominating Committee. She is a former member of the LWVUS Lobby Corps and served on the Local Planning Committee for the LWV National Convention in 2000. She is a widow with two adult sons.

Director - Barbara Luchs has served on the D.C. Transportation, Recreation, Government Representation, Public Affairs and Education Committees. She currently organizes the monthly mailing of the DC Voter. She worked on the Widening Horizons Career Orientation Project for D.C. Public Junior High Schools and the Neighborhood Planning Council for Children and Youth for over 30 years. She served on the Mayor's Committee for Food, Nutrition and Youth, the Mayor's Recreation Advisory Committee, and was an ANC Commissioner. She has been involved in CAPCOM Sign Language Interpreter Service for the Deaf and currently works for the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.

Director - Anne Porowski is a graduate of American University's School of Public Affairs and has an extensive background with the federal government. She has worked five years for former Congressman Tom Railsback (R, IL) and fourteen for the Department of the Treasury. Anne is active as Vice President for Programs of the United Nations Association-National Capital Area and as Vice President of her condominium association. A District resident since 1971, she is extremely concerned about our "taxation without representation" and the development of our young people.

Nominating Committee - Anna Marsh, Chair. just concluded serving as 1st Vice President (Local Programs). She has served two years as LWVDC President (1991-93) she has held include D.C. Government Affairs Chair, Voters Service Chair. and Chair SE/Anacostia Unit. A League member since 1979, Anna has served with D.C. Public Schools for many years in several capacities. She has a ten-year background as a statistician and geographer with the Federal Government and 30 years experience as a volunteer advocating betterment of the D.C. community east of the Anacostia River. Anna received a B.S. from Miner Teachers College, has done graduate work at AU and UDC is married with three grown daughters.

Audrey Hatry, has been a member of the League and the Southwest Unit since 1984. She just completed serving on the LWVDC Board as Secretary. She earned a BS from University of Maryland in Institutional Management. Audrey worked from 1950 to 1968 mostly overseas and mostly for the CIA (office work, not espionage). Then, from 1968-1983 she worked as staff in U.S. Senate (clerical-administrative, not legislative work). She has resided in Southwest DC since 1968 and strongly favors full voting representation for all DC residents.

Kathy Schmidt has been an active member of the Upper 16th Street unit for the last ten years. She served for four years as secretary of the League of Women Voters of D.C. Board. She has been part of the education committee for six years, for four of which she served as chair. Kathy is a graduate of DePauw University. Her MLS degree is from Southern Connecticut State College. She also holds a 6th year certificate in education from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. She is currently appointed to the D.C. Board where she holds the portfolio on Congressional Representation in Congress. She also is the League's liaison to DC Vote.


A lively program planning meeting was held at Sumner School in January. Members identified a number of areas for primary focus and recommended that the League focus on action in the next two years. As a result of this meeting, the LWVDC Board has recommended an Action Emphasis Program for 2001-2003 in the following areas:


As our Making Our Votes Count (MOVC) project enters its third year, the League seeks to build on its successes with the Mock Election program held in the D.C. Public Schools last fall. This next year we will focus on working with Student Council leaders in the public, private, and charter schools with an emphasis on registration and education.


LWVDC will establish a committee on housing to update ourselves and to review the issues. Action would include a general meeting on housing as well as members taking action (attend meetings, give testimony, etc.) in support of LWVDC's Housing Positions.


Action will include information meetings with the health care community. Members will educate themselves on our health care positions and translate these positions into action (attending meetings, giving testimony, etc.) in support of LWVUS'S AND LWVDC'S Health Care Positions.


LWVDC members participated in a Community Observation Project sponsored by the Council for Court Excellence which consists of observing courtroom trials. To become more active, a Chair is needed.

If you have an issue you wish the League to adopt, contact the 1st Vice President. Issues should be timely and there must be available resources (women/men power, etc.).

LWVDC's Board has appointed a committee of Anna Marsh, Chair, Sheila Willet, Barbara Yeomans plus two additional members-at-large to review the DC League's and NCA positions in Where We Stand and make appropriate recommendations (retain, drop, update, edit). Copies of Where We Stand are available in the LWVDC office. Members interested in. being a part of this committee are encouraged to call the League office and volunteer. — Anna Marsh 1st Vice President, Local Programs, 1999-2001 

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Proposed Budget, April 2001—March 2002

100 Dues (inc. rebate from Nat'l) 12,000 10,000
200 Contributions 7,000 6,500
201 Finance Drive - members 3,500 3,500
202 Finance Drive - nonmembers 1,000 500
203 Other - members 2,500 2,500
204 Other - nonmembers 0 0
300 Development 7,500 19,375
301 Benefits 1,200 11,875
302 Private Elections 5,000 7,000
303 Bed and Breakfast 1,000 400
306 Other 300 100
400 Meetings 3,600 3,800
401 LWVUS Convention 0 0
403 Annual Meeting 1,800 1,900
404 Fall Luncheon 1,800 1,900
500 Publications 100 0
600 Committee Projects 100 delete
700 From Education Fund 11,650 17,025
701 Office Expenses (35%) 9,975 15,575
702 Finance Drive (50%) 175 250
703 VOTER (50%) 1,500 1,200
800 Investment Interest 4,500 5,000
900 Miscellaneous Receipts 150 100
INCOME TOTAL 46,600 61,800

Assets as of 1/31/01

First Union 10,526
MS Active Assets 17,757
MS Funds Solution 68,745
Total 97,028
1000 DC Voter 3,000 2,400
1100 Shared Office Expenses 28,500 44,500
1101 Equipment Maintenance 300 1,000
1102 Telephone Communication Service 800 1,100
1103 Insurance 600 700
1104 Rent 12,000 12,500
1105 Staff & Benefits 11,000 26,000
1106 Char. Fee & property tax 200 200
1107 Supplies/Copying 1,000 1,500
1108 Postage 600 500
1109 Computer Serv. & Supplies 2,000 1,000
1200 Other Office Expenses 1,800 1,100
1201 Annual Financial Services 1,000 1,000
1202 Capital Equipment 800 100
1300 Board Admin. Committees 1,200 1,500
1301 President 100 100
1302 Admin Services 1,000 750
1303 Membership 100 500
1304 Organizational Dues 150
1400 Fund Raising 1,100 2,100
1401 Finance Drive 350 500
1402 Benefits 200 300
1404 Private Elections 400 1,000
1405 Bed & Breakfast 100 250
1407 Other 50 50
1500 League Meetings 5,500 5,900
1501 LWVUS Convention Council 1,800 2,000
1502 NCA Convention 100 100
1503 LWVDC Annual Meeting 1,800 1,900
1505 Fall Luncheon 1,800 1,900
1600 Financial Support for LWV 4,400 3,200
1601 LWVUS Member Payment 4,200 3,000
1602 NCA Dues 200 200
1700 Program (Committee exp)* 1,000 1,000
1800 Contingency 100 100
EXPENSES TOTAL 46,600 61,800

*1700 Program Expenses do not include staff time, use of office equipment, and other office admin expenses. Nor does this category take into consideration programs/activities for which we receive grant money or endowment.

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Symposium On Trade

Friday, March 2, 2001, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Summer School Lecture Hall, 1201 17th St. NW


Panel 1, 9 AM-10:30 AM, "The WTO, US Trade Policy and Labor and Environmental Standards"
Panelists: Professor John H. Jackson (ACCEPTED), Georgetown University Law School
Hilary French (ACCEPTED), World Watch Institute Vice President
Robert B. Zoellick (INVITED), US Trade Representative

Panel 2, 11 AM -1 PM, "Harnessing Trade and Globalization to Benefit Developing Countries"
Panelists: David Beckmann (ACCEPTED), President of Bread for the World
An Economic Policy Official (ACCEPTED), The World Bank
Minister Regis Arslanian (ACCEPTED), Embassy of Brazil

Panel 3, 3 PM - 4:30 PM, "Meeting the Needs and Concerns of Workers Affected by Open Trade"
Panelists: Thea Lee (ACCEPTED), AFL-CIO, Public Policy Assistant Director
Sandra Polaski (ACCEPTED), Special Representative for International Labor Affairs.
Peter Hoier (ACCEPTED), Embassy of Denmark, Counselor for Labor Relations

For more information contact: Janet F. Burmester, Phone/fax: (202) 237-6948, e-mail:


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March General Membership Meeting Presents

An Evaluation of Charter Schools in the District of Columbia

Guest Speaker: Michele Moser, Professor, George Washington University
Co-author "Making A Choice, Making A Difference? An Evaluation of Charter Schools in the District of Columbia"

Thursday, March 15th
6:30 - 9:00 pm
Sumner School Lecture Hall
1201 17th Street NW
(corner 17th and M Streets)

In addition, the Education Committee will present their preliminary findings of a two-year study on the Charter School Movement in the District of Columbia.

This meeting is open to the public.

For More Information Contact the DC League at 202 347-3020


Charter Schools Defined

"Charter schools, as originally conceived, are legally and fiscally autonomous educational entities operating within the public school system under charters, or contracts. The charters are negotiated between organizers and sponsors. The organizers may be teachers, parents, or other forms from the public or private sectors. The sponsors may be local school boards, state school boards, or other public authorities, such as universities. The organizers manage the schools and sponsors monitor compliance with the charter. The charters contain provisions regarding issues such as curriculum, performance measures, and management and financial plans.

. . . In broad terms, charter schools are aimed at producing: (a) increased responsiveness to the demands of parents, students, and teachers, and (b) greater opportunities for innovation in the school management and pedagogy." (Charter Schools Laws Across the United States 1996 Edition, Sandra Vegari & Michael Mintrom, PIPC, Policy Report #2).

Depending on the enabling legislation, charter schools are public institutions that are free from many federal and district regulations. No two charter schools are exactly alike. They vary in size, governance, focus, and pedagogy. Some have a special emphasis on science and technology while others are on arts or serving at-risk students. Some have complete fiscal autonomy while others are bound by financial guidelines written in the charter.



  • Should there be only one or more than one body with the right to grant charters? If only one, should the body be the District of Columbia Public School board or the Public Charter School board?
  • What type of oversight responsibilities should be established?
  • What enrollment requirements should be defined?


  • How should a charter school be financed?
  • Should DCPS make an allocation to each charter school equal to DCPS per pupil expenditure each year?
  • Should any reallocation, based on budget shortfalls, be proportional to those imposed on traditional schools?
  • Should there be different formulas used to determine per pupil expenditures for elementary, middle, and high schools?
  • What factors should organizers of a charter school demand to assure fiscal accountability? Should these factors be the same for traditional and charter schools? If not, why not?


  • What factors should organizers of a charter school demand to assure academic accountability?
  • Should these factors be the same for traditional and charter schools? If not, why not?

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