Today, during its regular Legislative Meeting, the DC Council unanimously passed an emergency bill from Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen and Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George to allow teachers and staff of DC Public Schools to run and serve on the non-partisan DC State Board of Education. The SBOE is a non-partisan body that helps set and advise on education policy in both public and public charter school settings.
In the District of Columbia, teachers and staff working at DC public charter schools can already serve on the State Board of Education, but not their DCPS counterparts.
“This is simply about leveling the playing field. The bill will ensure our teachers and staff working in DC Public Schools can bring their leadership and expertise to the table and shape education policy as their charter sector peers can already do,” said Councilmember Allen. “It makes sense to have the perspectives of those who are in classrooms every day and living with the policy decisions the State Board of Education makes.”
"This change will make our School Board of Education more representative, correct a longtime imbalance between our public education sectors, and bring necessary perspectives to the SBOE’s mission of advancing student learning citywide," said Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George.
The bill will take effect as soon as it is signed into law by the Mayor, allowing current teachers and staff to consider running in the November General Election. When the Council passes an emergency bill, it remains in effect for 90 days following the Mayor’s signature. Emergency legislation requires a higher threshold of nine votes, rather than a simple majority, and cannot impose a cost on government agencies. The temporary legislation will be approved on a final vote at the Council’s next Legislative Meeting.