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DC Voice Policy Update
January 2000




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DC VOICE Policy Update

Teachers, parents and community members, take note!

  • A School Governance Plan is still being developed.

  • The Mayor and Council members say they aren't hearing from the public.

  • There is still time to express your views to the Mayor and the City Council.

There have been several developments related to school governance since the DC VOICE Policy Alert distributed on January 13, 2000 (available on-line www.dcvoice.org/policy_alert.htm)

  • January 18: The D.C. Council met and voted 7-5 to give preliminary approval to a plan that would make the following changes to the current school governance structure:
    • SIZE: The school board would be reduced from 11 to 7 members
    • ELECTED vs. APPOINTED: An elected board would be preserved
    • SUPERINTENDENT: The council delayed for two weeks a vote on a proposal that would let the mayor hire and fire the superintendent, subject to the approval of the school board
  • The Mayor has threatened to veto this plan because he opposed having the Superintendent appointed by one entity, the Mayor, while policy would be made by another, the Board. Recently he has shown some willingness to give the Board the authority to appoint the Superintendent.
  • The Council and Mayor are currently negotiating elements of the legislation — including the structure and form of a referendum that could be held in May.
  • As of this writing, a Legislative Session is scheduled for February 1, 2000 at 10 a.m., 441 4th St., N.W., Room 700 to consider the School Governance Act.

It should be noted that the weather has already led to delays in the negotiation process and may continue to be a factor this week. In addition, it is clear that several elements of the legislation are very much up in the air and the bill that emerges will likely be different from the one that passed on January 18. Because the agenda for the February 1 meeting is quite full, call 724-8000 on Tuesday to find out when the School Governance Act appears on the agenda.


Let your public officials know what your views are about these critical school governance issues:

  • Board member selection and size
  • Superintendent selection
  • Voter referendum
Members of the Council's Education Committee
Kevin Chavous, Ward 7, Chair - 724-8068
Sharon Ambrose, Ward 6 - 724-8072
Kathy Patterson, Ward 3 - 724-8062
Phil Mendelson, At-large - 724-8064
Carol Schwartz, At Large - 724-8105
Council Chairperson Linda Cropp - 724-8032
Other Council Members
Harold Brazil, At Large - 724-8174
James Graham, Ward 1 - 724-8181
David Catania, At Large - 724-7772
Jack Evans, Ward 2 - 724-8058
Sandy Allen, Ward 8 - 724-8045
Charlene Drew Jarvis, Ward 4 - 724-8052
Vincent Orange, Ward 5 - 724-8028

Mayor's Office
Main number - 727-2980
E-mail: Mayor@dcgov.org
Office of Policy and Evaluation - 727-6979

Spread the Word!

Please share this information with your networks and encourage others to let public officials know their views now while there is still time.

Stay Informed!

DC VOICE will continue to keep you informed as this process unfolds. We would like to hear from you as to what additional information would be helpful. Please visit our website ( www.dcvoice.org ) to download a copy of this document and other documents of interest on education reform.

DC VOICE -- Strengthening the Public Voice in Public Education
1328 Florida Avenue NW, 3rd floor Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-986-8535 Fax: 202-238-0109
E-mail: dcvoice@dcvoice.org
Website: www.dcvoice.org

DC VOICE is a collaborative of teachers, parents and community members committed to ensuring every child in Washington, DC a high quality public education.
DC VOICE is funded by a grant from The Ford Foundation.

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