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Paula Perelman
Executive Secretary, DC School Board
Appointed September 4, 2001




Dorothy Brizill
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1985-Present, Attorney, D.C. Public Schools (DCPS)

1999-Present, As Executive Director of Special Education Mediation and Compliance

  • Address, verbally and in writing, inquiries from a wide variety of sources concerning federal and District law, regulations, and procedures regarding special education.
  • Ensure DCPS’ compliance with hearing officers’ determinations and settlement agreements issued and executed in resolution of hearing requests filed by parents or guardians of District children with disabilities alleging violations of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) on the part of DCPS.
  • File hearing requests against parents and guardians of District children with disabilities when necessary to ensure the provision of FAPE to such children and assist in the representation of DCPS at the resulting hearings.
  • Review and approve, as appropriate, the bills of attorneys who prevail against DCPS in actions brought under the IDEA.
  • Draft proposed legislation, regulations and procedures regarding special education in the District.
  • Ensure that the DCPS mediation program is run efficiently and effectively, consistent with all applicable law and regulations.

1998-1999, As Counsel for Policy and Planning

  • Rendered legal advice and services with respect to questions, practices, directives, rules, regulations and laws pertaining to DCPS.
  • Prepared interpretative and administrative orders, directives, rules, and regulations and/or proposed legislation to give effect to the policies of the Superintendent or to the provisions of governing District or federal legislation which impact on DCPS operations.
  • Reviewed, in detail, DCPS administrative procedures and directives and recommended changes if necessary to ensure legal compliance and/or consistency with DCPS policy; wrote and/or reviewed amended procedures or directives, as required.
  • Monitored proposed regulations and legislation, on the District and federal levels, and identified new or amended regulations or acts that required implementation by DCPS; ensured that implementing policies and procedures were consistent with the intent of the governing regulations or law and were administratively sound, efficient, and economical in operation.

1996-1998, As General Counsel and Chief of Staff for the Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees

  • Provided internal legal services to the Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees, including, but are not limited to, drafting all rules approved by the Trustees, the Control Board and other District and federal agencies and/or certifying that they were legally sufficient; acted as liaison with outside counsel for the Trustees, and provided legal counsel to the Trustees on all Trustee business.
  • Monitored and updated legal research and maintained expertise in the area of educational and administrative laws; provided support and briefings to the Trustees on matters of policy-making to ensure consistency with federal and D.C. laws and regulations, particularly Title 5 of the D.C. Municipal Regulations (Board Rules); assisted the Trustees in the rulemaking process and assumed overall responsibility for maintaining, publishing, and updating the Board Rules.
  • Maintained continuous awareness of Congressional and City Council activities, as well as court decisions, with respect to legal matters that impacted on the Trustees and DCPS; kept the Trustees apprised of the Control Board’s actions to assure that they conformed with the position of the Trustees and school system; accompanied Trustees to meetings of the Congress, City Council, Mayor, and Control Board when proposed issues or legislation on various school policy matters required Trustee awareness, input or interpretation.
  • Handled all litigation and administrative hearings involving the Trustees, through pro bono counsel and/or counsel for the Control Board, including advance preparation of all foreseeable data required for litigation and administrative proceedings and representation of the Trustees or arranging for such representation in court or administrative hearings.
  • Prepared legal memoranda and opinions, as required by the Trustees; provided day-to-day legal services essential to the operation of the Trustees, to include providing requested parliamentary and procedural advice and preparing D.C. legislation.

1985-1996, As Legislative Counsel and Staff Attorney

  • Reviewed Congressional and D.C. City Council legislation which would impact DCPS; developed the School System’s position on such legislation and drafted comments or testimony; presented the testimony and/or lobbied Congress and the Council.
  • Reviewed federal and local laws and regulations impacting DCPS; prepared rules, orders, and directives implementing these laws and regulations.
  • Drafted proposed rules, legislation, and supporting documents for the D.C. Board of Education and the Superintendent.
  • Monitored enactment by the D.C. City Council and Congress of DCPS’ annual budget; lobbied Congress and the Council, prepared testimony for the Board of Education President and the Superintendent, attended Council and Congressional budget hearings and responded to legal questions raised in the hearings.
  • Researched such subjects as education of the handicapped, copyright laws, procurement, the First Amendment, labor law, search and seizure, privacy, Equal Employment Opportunity law and regulations, and collective bargaining; provided written and oral guidance on these topics to the Board of Education and school system employees, parents, students and the public.
  • Represented DCPS in litigation, sometimes in conjunction with the D.C. Corporation Counsel, and in administrative hearings; prepared briefs, motions, and other legal documents.
  • Negotiated, drafted, and reviewed DCPS contracts, including school system leases.
  • Responded to correspondence regarding legal and legislative matters received by the Board of Education or the Superintendent.

1983-1985, Pierson, Ball & Dowd Washington, DC, Associate

  • Drafted memoranda on a wide variety of broadcast and labor-related issues of law and regulatory matters.
  • Drafted and prepared interrogatories and exhibits; supervised document production for broadcast hearings before the FCC; prepared witnesses and cross-examined parties at hearings.
  • Interviewed and counseled firm clients; maintained close contact with clients throughout disposition of cases.
  • Drafted agreements, motions and other legal documents; drafted correspondence to federal agencies on behalf of clients involved in administrative and regulatory matters, including Freedom of Information Act requests.
  • Provided general legal research in broadcast, labor, and environmental issues.

1977-1980, The Brentwood School Los Angeles, CA, Teacher

  • Taught English to secondary school students; monitored progress of each student and wrote periodic reports; assisted students with problem areas and special projects.



Cornell Law School Ithaca, NY

  • J.D. received 1983.
  • Admitted to D.C. Bar –1983.
  • Recipient-George O. Bogert Scholarship.


Stanford University Stanford, CA

  • M.A. –English Education- received 1977.

Swarthmore College Swarthmore, PA

  • B.A.- English Literature- received 1976.
  • Winner- Martha E. Tyson Fellowship for Graduate Study.


With T. Timothy Ryan, Jr., "Post-Norris Ambiguities: Unanswered Questions for Women and the Pension Industry," Akron Law Review, Fall, 1983


Furnished Upon Request.

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