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Testimony to the House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on the District of Columbia
April 30, 1999




Dorothy Brizill
Bonnie Cain
Jim Dougherty
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Anthony Williams, Mayor Constance Newman, Vice-Chairman, DC Control Board
Arlene Ackerman, Superintendent, DC Public Schools Maudine Cooper, Chairman, DC Public Schools
Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees


APRIL 30, 1999

Chairman Davis, Congresswoman Norton, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. I am pleased to join this distinguished panel to discuss our shared vision for education, and to elaborate on the questions of governance and operations of the school system.

This is a time for optimism in the District. Our bond rating is up, our books are balanced, and our economy is still expanding. But a rising economic tide does not ensure the success of our education system. Our school system needs to experience a similar turnaround. I am committed to working with the Superintendent and the other leaders of our city to make sure that happens.

My vision for education has three central components:

First, our children deserve the best possible schools with first-class teachers.

Second, our approach to education must recognize that an equal part of a child's learning and development takes place outside the classroom. This is exemplified by my belief in the idea of parents as first teachers.

Third, we must mobilize all the resources of the community toward the education of our young people. That means involving parents, teachers, civic leaders, faith organizations, as well as the business community in the life of every child.

Let me discuss each of these in turn, and highlight a few of the initiatives my administration has put forward to translate this vision into reality.

As I mentioned, our first and most immediate priority is to make sure our children have the best schools with the best teachers in the region. Our students deserve to learn under a roof that doesn't leak. They deserve schools where bathrooms work and classrooms stay warm in the winter and cool during summer school.

That is why I have proposed investing $364 million in renovation, modernization, and construction of public schools. Among other things, these funds will pay for two new schools and will allow us to renovate 8 schools a year for the next 6 years. The funds will bring our education system into the 21st century, providing access to modern technology and computers.

Competition can and should drive this effort to make our schools the best they can be. I believe parents should have a choice among public schools and charter schools so that they can hold schools accountable for the education their child receives.

I also believe our children deserve the best teachers in the region. District teaching salaries are well below those in Maryland and Virginia With close to 70 percent of our teachers approaching retirement age in the years ahead, we face a critical window in teacher hiring. To help our city compete for and retain the best and brightest new educators, I have proposed a 4 to 5 percent raise for teachers.

The second part of my vision is the idea that educating a child does not begin and end with the school bell; it begins before birth and continues through the early years and on into high school and college. Educating a child means making a commitment before school, after school, and providing the promise of a better future.

Early childhood programs for children are essential to making sure a child enters school ready to learn. Part of the $33 million Children and Youth Investment Partnership could be used to expand access to these services for at-risk families. These programs have been proven to improve school performance, reduce instances of child abuse, as well as save as much as 7 dollars for every dollar invested.

But quality early childhood and pre-school programs aren't enough. Young people must also have access to worthwhile, wholesome activities during the afternoon hours.

We know that juvenile crime suddenly triples in the hour after the school bell rings, yet as many as 45,000 District students go without after school programs. My proposal for a Children and Youth Investment Partnership could change that equation, providing students with opportunities for hours of academic enrichment, wholesome fun and community service. These programs are proven to reduce juvenile crime, drug use, and teen pregnancy.

Our children must know that studying hard will pay off. We need to make the promise of higher education a reality for every student. That means enacting the legislation that would give District students in-state tuition rates at public universities in other states. It also means making a new investment in UDC to build the school into a first class institution of higher learning.

The third major component of my education vision is recognizing that the entire community has a role to play in the life of every child. Parents, teachers, and businesses must be engaged together in the process of education.

I believe we must support parents in their role as first teachers. We must support and encourage parents to get involved in their child's education. Every parent should have access to quality, affordable day care, counseling and other services designed to help them raise educated children.

I am also asking the business community to play a role in education in the District. This is happening on several fronts.

We have worked in partnership with 15 companies and foundations to establish the D.C. College Access Program. It is a creative partnership that will awaken students to the opportunities available for higher education and make those opportunities possible by providing scholarships to make college affordable. In addition to college scholarships, the program will provide as many as 11,000 students with college advisers in their high schools to help them navigate the complex testing, application and financial aid process.

We have also begun working with our partners in the private sector to create a technology high school. Working hand in hand with some of the technology firms in the region, we can create unique reaming opportunities for students, and help them find economic empowerment.

Members of the business community can serve as mentors for young people, or get involved in the Summer Jobs program, which I have proposed extending into a year round program. It would be coupled with a new youth internship program as well as a new a Youth-to-Careers and Entrepreneurship program to engage high school dropouts in non-traditional educational and vocational training.

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for your time. I look forward to continuing to work with you, and to answering any questions you may have.

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District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority

Hearing before the Subcommittee of the District of Columbia
Committee on Government Reform and Oversight
United States House of Representatives

Public Education

Friday, April 30, 1999

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

I am Constance Newman. I am the vice chair of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority ("Authority") and the member with lead responsibility for public education in the District of Columbia. I appreciate the opportunity to testify on the reform of public education in the District of Columbia, and we are pleased that progress is being made.


Inasmuch as the Authority views public education as one of the most critical public service issues for the District, we devote considerable time and attention to providing oversight over the D.C. Public Schools. Our oversight efforts have focused on ensuring that the serious deficiencies in governance, academic performance, management, and the physical environment identified in our November 1996 Report, "Children In Crisis: A Report on the Failure of the D.C. Public Schools," are corrected and that overall improvements in education are realized.

Since the Authority assumed responsibility for the school system, permanent change is occurring and tangible progress is being made in all areas of public education. These improvements are the result of effective leadership and the development of a strong reform-minded team. Under the leadership of Ms. Arlene Ackerman, Superintendent/Chief Executive Officer, major changes are being made in the schools' academic performance, management, and physical environment. The Authority is pleased with and fully supports the direction of these efforts and is fully committed to the aggressive reform agenda she has established. Through all of her efforts, the Emergency Transitional Board of Trustees has supported her. We are further encouraged by the efforts underway to involve the Board of Education in the governance of the school system as an active and integral partner in improving student academic performance.

A priority of the Authority has been to ensure that the Board of Education is fully prepared to assume responsibility for the school system by June 30, 2000. To accomplish this, we established a District of Columbia School Board of Education Transition Planning Team, chaired by Dr. Mary Futrell, Dean of the George Washington University Graduate School of Education. The Team included representatives of the Board of Education and the Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees and parents. The Transition Team was charged with developing a plan to gradually transfer policy and governance responsibility back to the Board of Education, to strengthen the leadership capacity of the Board, and to involve the Board of Education in reform efforts underway. The Transition Plan includes various action steps and a time schedule for accomplishing the actions in the Transition Plan. The Transition Plan calls for the active participation and involvement of the Superintendent. A key element of the Transition Plan requires the Board of Education and the Superintendent to develop a strategic plan that contains short and long-term goals, objectives, and strategies for improving student attainment The Authority and the Board of Education have fully adopted the Transition Plan and the elements of the Plan are currently being implemented. The Authority is committed to working with all the parties to ensure that the Transition Plan is fully implemented.

Academic Improvement and Accountability

With regard to the academic performance of students, the Authority is pleased. The results of initiatives of the Superintendent -- elimination of "social promotion"; implementation of the Summer Star programs; increased principal and teacher accountability; more in-service training; and more parental involvement -- have contributed to the students' better academic performance. The Superintendent continues to set aggressive goals for student performance. During the next fiscal year, the Superintendent has set as a goal to reduce the number of students scoring "below basic" on the Stanford 9 Achievement Test by 10 percent and to increase the percentage of students scoring at the "proficient" and "advanced" levels by 5 percent. The Authority's expectation is that the academic plan will provide the basis and lay out the necessary actions to accomplish those goals.

Complementing the efforts in improving student achievement, Mrs. Ackerman, with the assistance of the Council of Great City Schools, conducted a detailed examination of the financial and administrative operations which support the education reform strategy. The Superintendent has taken steps to address critical areas like special education. We all recognize that further improvements are necessary in the administrative operations of the school system. The Authority is working with Mrs. Ackerman to ensure that they are made.

Physical improvements in the D.C. Public Schools

Turning now to physical improvements, I am pleased with the efforts of the Superintendent and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to make the schools cleaner and safer. Much progress has been made in the last year, including roof repairs at more than sixty schools; replacement of numerous boilers, air conditioners, and windows; and correction of fire code violations. The Public Schools have disposed of surplus facilities and will generate more than $10 million in revenues to defray infrastructure improvements. The Corps of Engineers is assisting in improving the maintenance program of the schools. They will work with the Board in preparing a realistic Long Range Facilities Master Plan, which guides the school's capital improvement strategy. It is our present thinking that the revised Long-Range Facilities Master Plan ("Master Plan") should lay out a strategy for determining the schools' infrastructure needs for the next ten years. It should identify how those needs will be met and it should include a collaborative process for involving the community and soliciting input for the Master Plan's implementation. The growth of the number of charter schools — now at 20 — and the need to examine their space requirements must also be addressed by the Master Plan.

The Authority believes that the proposed Fiscal Year 2000 budget lays out a strategy for addressing the capital improvement requirements of the school system. The proposed Fiscal Year 2000 budget, which requests $29.8 million, will include $10.9 million to modernize 8 schools and $15.6 million to renovate bathrooms. Under the Transition Plan which I earlier referred to, the Board of Education is charged with adopting the Master Plan. Our understanding is that the Board of Education will solicit the views of various stakeholders and will incorporate those views, where feasible, in the Master Plan.

Number of Students in the Public Schools

For the second year in a row, we know with confidence how many students are in the schools. Knowing the exact number has become more important ant since the adoption of the per-pupil funding formula and the Superintendent's plans to use a weighted student formula to allocate funds to the individual schools. This will be the first year in which resources will be determined by the number of students in the public and charter schools. We believe that a student-based formula is an equitable way to fund education and will address some of the inequities that have existed between schools. We will work with the Council and the Mayor to address any problems that surface through the implementation of the per pupil formula, which was required by the "District of Columbia School Reform Act of 1995 ("Act").

As required by the Act, the Authority hired an independent auditor to audit the schools' official enrollment count of 75,483 students for the 1998-1999 academic year. The independent auditor has verified the number of students. In addition to an audit of the official enrollment, the Authority hired an independent contractor to conduct in February of this year a head count of students in the public and charter schools. The independent head count further confirmed the results of the enrollment audit. Parents or guardians in DCPS are required to provide proof of payment of Federal or D.C. income taxes or receipt of public assistance and two additional proofs of District residency. While we have made progress, the Authority is still concerned with the level of documentation being maintained by DCPS and the public charter schools to verify residence. The individual charter schools have their own standards for determining residency. The auditor reported that significant improvements have been made in the Student Information System, but better equipment is needed. The D.C. School System has issued a Request for Proposals to obtain the needed equipment so that further improvements may be made.

Special Education

Mr. Chairman, I wish to mention Special Education, to which the Authority devotes considerable attention. Special Education remains troublesome for the District. Nearly 10,000 students are expected in special education in the coming school year. As we have previously reported, this growth is having tremendous implications for the future cost of education and the pace of educational reform. In FY 2000, special education will consume more than $170 million of the appropriated budget. Mrs. Ackerman has devoted significant resources to reducing the backlog of special education assessments. The increase of the referral and assessment period from 50 to 120 days has had an appreciative impact on the number of private placements, which is a significant cost. The Authority supports the initiative of Councilmember Chavous to assemble a task force, which will involve the courts, the administration, educators, and parents to develop a coordinated and comprehensive response to address this problem. The Authority will work on those efforts with the Superintendent, the Council of the District of Columbia, and other parties to improve service delivery to this special population.


In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the Authority is pleased with progress in the District schools. Superintendent Ackerman and her team of committed educators and managers are energetically tackling the education and management problems confronting the public schools and we can see the evidence of change. My colleagues and I recognize that much still needs to be done and sustained reform will require the cooperation and participation of this entire community. We are committed to working with all parties to ensure long term improvements.

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District of Columbia Public Schools
on the District of Columbia Public Schools

Before The Subcommittee on The District Of Columbia
Committee on Government Reform
US House House of Representatives

April 30, 1999

Good Morning Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee. I am Arlene Ackerman, Superintendent of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Thank you for providing me the opportunity to share the status of DCPS. At our previous hearing last fall, we shared with you what the school system was doing to build an exemplary system. I recall your asking me on a few occasions if school would open on time and I answered yes. Indeed school did open on time like it does across every other district in this country. I hope we will never have to question such a basic educational issue again and that we can focus on the larger issues that face all urban systems as they try to provide youth with the skills and knowledge necessary to turn dreams into reality.

Since that hearing we at central office and the principals and teachers in each school have been busy with the reform agenda. Our focus is clear - improving teaching and learning. We have put in place clear standards for what students should know and be able to do in all areas. We have invested more in professional development and plan to expand our efforts to reach every teacher with sustained learning opportunities. We have continued to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers making important capital improvements. Full facility assessments have been completed for all the schools. We have begun plans for full school rehabilitation for one school in each ward next year while we wait for the elected board's long range facility plan. For FY 99, procurement actions for 5 roof replacement projects, the long range master plan and education specifications have been initiated. If we want to see our children learn, we need to assure safe environments where principals and teachers have the adequate resources and support.

The district is continuing with a principal evaluation that sends a clear signal to principals that academic growth is our number one priority. We have also implemented a new teacher evaluation. Principals now have the ability to identify low performing teachers and should they not show signs of improvement within ninety days, the teacher can be let go. Our investment in instructional technology is bringing more computers to every school. In order to provide more instructional time for our students, we created a Saturday morning program across the district and we will continue summer school again this year. We are making important changes that I think will contribute to continued progress in the achievement of our students. Across the district students showed gains between the spring 97 and spring 98 and I am confident that growth will continue.

Special Education continues to be an area that the deeper we go, the more challenges we seem to face. It is clear the drastic changes were needed and we are taking actions to try new solutions. We have had difficulty attracting staff to the district in this area as there is a national shortage and many are skeptical to join a department that had been so neglected. We have developed a new incentive package to try and be more competitive with surrounding jurisdictions. We are also working to grow our own staff with local universities and changing how we think about delivering services. After reviewing current practice and looking at other districts, we are convinced the local school staff need to be more involved in student assessment and program development. I can only hone that the community will remain patient as we make changes in many areas.

One of the most important reform initiatives of this year is the planning we have done for implementing the weighted student formula. We are assuring that resources follow the student based on the needs of the student and that schools have the opportunity to make decisions about the best way to use those resources. The principals, teachers, parents and community members will now make the decisions about how to allocate those resources, not central office. For the first time in this community every school and every member of the public will know what resources go to each school and the logic behind why each school gets the resources it does.

In the past few months, we have worked hard to develop the weighted student formula. We have had numerous community meetings to share the WSF with the community and we have made changes in central office to better support schools in the development of their school plans. Each school has completed a full needs assessment, developed a school plan and budget. Our principals, parents, and teachers have worked many hours over the past two months to develop these plans. The process has provided a powerful experience for the principal, parents, teachers, and community members to learn more about their school and chart a course for its future. We have heard many positive comments about the experience. Giving authority to schools for budget and staffing offers schools the opportunity to realize new dreams.

One reason we have been able to implement this reform is because of the change in how we as a system are to be funded by the city this coming year. We have created our school budget following the law that the city council developed and passed a few years ago, DC Act 12-494. We are making sure that more resources go directly to schools. The law created a per pupil formula that funds the charter schools and the DC public schools in the same manner. The formula in the law is clear in providing a methodology to determine what resources the public schools are to receive for fiscal year 2000. We constructed our budget based on what the law generates for us. In the proposed budget 94% goes directly to schools and less than 6% to central office.

We have come a long way, and we still have a long way to go. Our reform agenda and budget request is based upon the law and meeting the needs of the children of DC. One reason for the law was to protect the interest of children against unstable funding and the risk of funding losses. We have closed the budget deficit and want to assure stable funding as intended by the law. I urge you in your support of DCPS to show your support for the spirit of DC Act 12-494 and the per pupil formula that shapes the budget and allows us to carry out the reform agenda.

Thank you.

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Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees
825 North Capitol Street NE, Suite 9108
Washington DC 20002-1994
(202) 442-5454-fax:(202) 442-5175



April 30, 1999

Before the Committee on the District of Columbia
United States House of Representatives
Congressman Tom Davis, Chairman

Good morning and thank you for providing me the opportunity of updating the Committee on the significant progress that we have made in the District of Columbia Public Schools since May of 1998. May is a hallmark month since this was the month that our Superintendent, Arlene Ackerman first took over the reigns of the city's public school system as our Superintendent.

Over these past 11 months we have witnessed a true renaissance in both spirit and actual reforms in our public school system. A spirit that is catching and reforms that are evident. The credit goes to the leadership of Mrs. Ackerman, for without her leadership and her incredible courage to make bold changes this renaissance would have been incremental, rather than incredible!

As the Chair of the Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees, I want to be perfectly clear on the fundamental task that we as Trustees serve as to the mission of educational reform.

This mission can be succinctly grouped into Four Core Areas as defined by the Financial Authority: Improved Academic Performance for all students; the Promotion of Educational Equity; the Institution of Sound Management Practices; and, the Development of a Safe, Healthy, and Cost Effective Environment in which Children can learn.

Our role is that of a policy oriented support group, and not one of micromanaging the superintendent or her staff. Our job is to support Mrs. Ackerman through marshaling the resources that we as community members command.

The revelations found in "Children in Crisis" serve as the backdrop as to why we take our role as Trustees seriously. This is why we serve; and, for us to serve is an honor.

If we were to define eras by leadership and courage, then this is the era of Arlene Ackerman. An era characterized by high standards, steady progress, clear goals. honest answers, no surprises, problem solving, and relentless commitment toward educational improvement for the 71,889 students enrolled in our system.

My presentation this morning will be brief and will reflect a governance and policy perspective in six key areas as requested by Congressman Davis. Those areas include:

  1. The Capital Improvement Plan and the rehabilitation and modernization of facilities.
  2. The District of Columbia Academic Plan
  3. The Technology Plan
  4. Teacher Certification
  5. The DCPS Budget in relation to resources to fulfill our academic excellence strategic plan
  6. The status of present as well as prospective public charter schools

For the record, I wanted to highlight some of the more vivid reforms that Mrs. Ackerman has initiated over the past 11 months.


On January 28, 1999, the Superintendent proposed and the Trustees approved a comprehensive Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Year 1999. The Goal of this plan was "To make our schools engaging, compelling, effective, and efficient environments for learning, teaching, working and community activities "

In actuality, this 1999-year plan kicks off a ten-year modernization program that will bring all schools in the District up to an adequate and explicit standard for the 2ast Century by the year 2009 The preliminary total budget for years 1 through 10 is approximately $1 Billion.

This Plan encompasses areas such as Modernization; Public/Private Partnerships, and ADA Improvements, to name a few. A schedule for this activity is underway for the out years. We anticipate enhancing our current $40 million a year expenditure with funds from the city that hopefully will equate to a total expenditure of approximately $100 million per year over the next 10 years. This would be the ideal. And obviously, we want to fix the bathrooms and toilettes, replace the roofs, boilers, and central cooling and heating systems.


As to the District of Columbia Academic Plan, the Trustees have supported the curricular thrust that Mrs. Ackerman has initiated toward:

  • Ending social promotion
  • Developing more challenging academic standards
  • Creating new report cards and new school profiles for every school
  • Increasing reading and math programs
  • Initiating the Saturday STARS program that coincides with the results of the SAT 9 to assure that students scoring below basic have a 16 week, 3 hours per Saturday remedial reading instruction
  • Developing a Summer STARS program in which over 22,000 students attended for six weeks of intensive instruction program
  • Adopting a new K-6 reading and math series
  • Developing an innovative Weighted Student Formula that promises a laser-like focus on bringing a more equitable distribution of educational dollars to the classroom to assure that educational dollars follow the student and that school sites are held accountable for the use of these dollars toward improving academic achievement.


We could probably move faster in this area but due to the convoluted procurement process that rests with the City, our hands are tied Presently, Procurement falls under the City. This means that DCPS is required to rely on City administrators and City procedures to purchase fundamental items for its 71,889 students. In a word, this is Ludicrous!

The current procurement system as it is now constituted lacks responsiveness; and, students are ultimately hurt by a system that is now characterized by indifference and neglect. Given this bureaucratic-convoluted paradigm through which we attempt to purchase instructional materials for children, DCPS is held hostage to the City. Because of this, we cannot timely purchase such fundamental items as computers and textbooks.

For the record, because of this chokehold on our procurement processes there are now over 588 backlogged requisitions that affect children. These requisitions are simply caught up in someone's bureaucratic pipeline. This has to be changed. Procurement should report to the Superintendent, not to the City! If we have the responsibility, then give us the authority!

During the 1997-98 school year DCPS developed an Educational Technology Plan. This plan was entitled, "Beyond 1997-Children First." This plan is the backbone of our efforts to improve instructional technology for our students in 5,500 classrooms throughout our District. Since the plan was initially developed, virtually all schools are now connected to the Internet and have E-Mail.

Our technology plans call for more hardware, more software, training, additional staff, and of course, more funds to accomplish all of this. In fact our 2000 Fiscal Year budget request calls for an additional $1 million for Instructional Technology, and an additional $500,000 for MIS.

Lastly, in accordance with the Mayor's proposed Budget, DCPS will work with the Mayor's office to establish a new technology center at a cost of $2.2 million for FY 2000 and approximately $25 million over the next 5 years.


Presently, all teachers employed by DCPS hold certification. Last year we enforced our five year rule requiring all teachers to be fully certified within three years after their initial employment; if they were employed under anything less than a full credential. According to our Teacher Licensing and Certification department, there are approximately 890 teachers on one-year licenses. This represents approximately 17% of the 5,197 teachers employed by DCPS. This is not unusual given the national teacher shortage in critical teaching areas. We fully expect that the overwhelming majority of these teachers will obtain the full certification by the end of this school year.

In terms of teacher recruitment, the Human Resource department has an excellent plan, which has taken them to 15 on-campus recruitment trips. The majority of these recruitment efforts were out of state.

We have held two major recruitment fairs with one more scheduled for next month. Given teacher attrition, retirements, and certification issues, we project somewhere over 400 teaching vacancies. This is a flexible number and might well drop accordingly.

Additionally, DCPS is exploring full reciprocity for out of state teacher candidates. This will expand our current candidate pool of approximately 800 teachers.


In accordance with Mrs. Ackerrman's emphasis of placing "Children First," we will end this fiscal year in a positive fiscal status. Our budget was balanced after closing a deficit in excess of $62 million dollars for FY 1999. To continue and build upon the many instructional achievements noted earlier under section two above, our Superintendent, with the Support of the Trustees is requesting an operating budget for FY 2000 of $704,646,000. And a proposed Capital Budget of $73 million. Anything short of this requested amount would have dire consequences for educational reform in our Public Schools.

Nearly $41 million in additional resources are being requested to fund the newly developed "Weighted Student Formula." This WSF, as it is called is a new method of allocating funds to schools based on student needs. Our additional funding request is generated by and in concert with the per pupil formula developed by the City Council.

On top of this, the DCPS budget request also calls for $4.5 million additional dollars to address the needs of "Targeted Assisted Schools, " and an additional $500,000 for" school performance awards. " These awards are intended to reward achievement.


There are currently 19 Public Charter Schools presently operating in the District of Columbia The fall of 1998 literally witnessed a mushrooming effect of Charter Schools. Prior to this time, only 2 Charter Schools were operative in the District of Columbia The current Budget is approximately $28.8 million. This amount does not include funds for facilities. However, the need for start-up funds to address their facility needs looms most important.

The average per pupil expenditure per Charter School Student approximates $7,085. This does not include the approximate $400,000 allocated to the Public Charter School Board, or the approximate $300,000 allocated to the Board of Education for Charter School oversight expenses. These two entities are the Chartering Authorities for the District of Columbia.

There are 9 Charter Schools currently leasing property from DCPS. The leases are in accordance with the Charter School Preference Policy. It is projected that up to 5 additional Charter Schools will lease DCPS facilities for next year, bringing the total number of Charter School leases to 14.

There are two pending proposals for Charter School funding for next year. One is the Mayor's, and one is the City Councils. Both approximate the current budget amount of $28.8 million.

Presently, there are 3,632 students enrolled in the 19 Charter Schools. Staff has apprised us that the growth rate may approximate 1,450 students over this number.

There are 7 provisionally approved Charter Schools for next year. The projected enrollment for these new schools approximates 1,800 students. If we combine current enrollment, growth enrollment, and enrollment from new Charter Schools we can anticipate the possibility of 6,882 public Charter School students for next year.

From the perspective of a State Education Agency, It would appear to us at this time that the two new budget proposals are not in concert with the fiscal needs of Charter School enrollment. As a State Education Agency we work with Charter Schools in the areas of Special Education, Categorical Programs, Teacher Certification, and Federal compliance areas to name a few.


I trust that the information that I have provided the Committee this morning addresses some of the salient points that the Committee requested from me as the Chairperson of the Emergency Board of Trustees. On behalf of the Trustees, I want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide you with this update.

Again, we want to be perfectly clear. As an appointed Board of Trustees, we support each of the efforts of educational reform that Mrs. Ackerman has put forth these past 1 l months. And we want to reiterate that our support is unconditional, for without her leadership, her bravery, her energy, and her intelligent approach to the issues, educational reform for the District of Columbia would be at best shallow, and at worst hollow.

Through the efforts of Mrs. Ackerman and the Emergency Board of Trustees, we have been able to develop an important Alliance of educational support for the aforementioned reforms. This Alliance was formed in consultation with The Federal City Council, The Greater Washington Board of Trade, and The D.C. Chamber of Commerce.

Their collaborative support is intended to further the efforts of educational reform in the areas of School to Careers, Literacy, Technology, and the Arts.

Thank you Mrs. Ackerman, and thank you Congressman Davis and members of the Committee.

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