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Testimony: Office of the State Superintendent of Education Oversight (FY15)

On March 6, 2015, Sharra Greer, policy director at Children’s Law Center, testified at the Office of State Superintendent of Education performance oversight hearing. She urged OSSE to make changes regarding special education transportation services, expand early intervention services for infants and toddlers, transition services for students with disabilities, increase its oversight of special education compliance at charter schools, and adopt meaningful practices to keep students in school. She similarly urged OSSE and the Committee to ensure the necessary FY16 funds to maintain its current level of services and make needed expansions.

Specifically, she recommended the following changes:

  • Allow adjustments in pick-up and drop-off address to accommodate students who have divorced parents and DC foster children living adjacent to the District, and to ensure students with disabilities have the access to fully participate in extracurricular activites as required by Section 504;

  • Provide transportation for partial-day inclusion to facilitate a special education student’s return to public school; 
  • Reduce the ride times to 60 minutes for students who llive and go to school in the District; 
  • Develop and implement a plan to expand the vocational and life skills training opportunities for special education students; 
  • Make plans for expanding Early Intervention services under the expanded criteria set forth in the Enhanced Special Education Services Act of 2014; 
  • Improve its oversight of charter schools special education compliance and use all available enforcement mechanisms; 
  • Increase meaningful truancy prevention efforts and decrease the use of out of school suspensions; 
  • Ensure that schools have the training, support, and funding to implement alternative programs to promote a positive school climate and appropriate school discipline.