Recent News

Public Education Reform Advocates File Amicus Brief in Support of D.C.’s Motion to Dismiss Charter Lawsuit

The motion to dismiss described below was not granted and this case will move to a trial.  We will keep you apprised.  Arguments for the case are due on September 9th. 


[Oct 2014]  Fourteen public-education reform advocates and two long-standing public-education reform organizations filed an Amicus Brief in support of the DC. Attorney General’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools, Washington Latin PCS (Ward 4), and Eagle Academy PCS.  

The lawsuit alleges that the laws by which the District appropriated annual and supplemental funding for DCPS and the public charter school sector are inconsistent with the School Reform Act of 1995 enacted by Congress, and that therefore exceeds the Council’s legislative authority and violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  The plaintiffs contend that the result has been less educational funding for each D.C. Charter School student than it spends on his or her DCPS counterpart

The DC Attorney General filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit because that theory ". . . has no basis in the structure of governance established by the Home Rule Act four decades ago or in any other governing legal principle. Instead, unless Congress states otherwise, which it has not in this context, the Council’s authority under the Home Rule Act specifically allows it to modify the substance or terms of a congressional act. . .these are distinctively local decisions, requiring quintessentially local evaluation of the needs and resources of the District’s public school system . . ."  (See Statement)

The education advocates and organizations with representatives from across the city came together ". . .out of grave concern that, if successful, the charter-school lawsuit would even further eviscerate Home Rule and the civic influence and local control of public education for District residents -- the District clearly has authority to legislate on quintessentially local issues such as the way in which its children are educated." (See Statement)

Please visit the 21st CSF 

Lawsuit Over D.C. Charter Schools Funding Turns Into Bigger Fight Over Home Rule, Martin Austermuhle, WAMU, 10/28/2014

DCPS: New Programs and Approach Proposed for Roosevelt HS in Ward 4

[May, 2014] In a press release (in advance of Ward 4 Education Alliance meeting), Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced a proposal to ". . .transform Roosevelt High School into a new international relations focused school, capitalizing on the opportunities which will become available through the modernization of the school. . ."  See also:
D.C.’s Roosevelt High to become international-themed school, Emma Brown, Washington Post,  5/14/2014

D.C. Council to hold hearings on school boundaries

[Washington Post May 6, by Emma Brown] D.C. Council to hold hearings on school boundaries

"D.C. Council Education Committee Chairman David A. Catania (I-At Large) said he plans to hold hearings in June on the city’s controversial proposals to overhaul school boundaries and student-assignment policies, giving parents and others another public venue to air opinions and concerns.  No hearing dates have been set, according to Catania’s staff."

Two Ward 4 middle schools in proposed options by DME Advisory Committee

[April, 2014] Two new middle schools figured prominently in the proposed Ward 4 school feeder options following Round 1 of community meetings organized by the Deputy Mayor and the Advisory Committee on Boundaries and Assignment.  See extract of Round 2 presentation here.

ANC 4B passes resolution supporting two middle schools for Ward 4

[March, 2014] ANC 4B Commissioners cited the needs to provide comprehensive programs and resources for Ward 4 students in grades 6, 7, and 8, and to accommodate the growing populations at elementary grades at neighborhood pre-K thru 8th grade schools.  They unanimously passed resolution 14-303 recommending that DCPS begin the planning process within a year’s time to establish quality, comprehensive, neighborhood DCPS middle school programs in both the northern and southern parts of Ward Four.