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Testimony: Public Charter School Board Oversight Hearing (FY14)

In testimony today at the oversight hearing for the DC Public Charter School Board, Senior Policy Attorney Elizabeth Tossell commended the education agency for its data sharing transparency and for using the data to strategically to improve school performance. However, Tossell also highlighted several challenges that hinder the quality of charter school educations for children in foster care or in need of special education services.

They include:

Special Education Capacity

  • Centralize basic data on all charter school special education programs to assist parents in choosing appropriate schools for their children.

  • Increase funding to continue and expand the DC Association for Special Education Consortium.

  • Work with the Special Education Cooperative to revise how satellite classrooms function.

  • Improve transition services for students with disabilities entering adulthood.

  • Increase the number of school health staff.

Special Education Oversight

  • Work with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to better monitor and enforce the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

  • Eliminate the option for charter schools to use DC public schools as their special education oversight agency.

School Stability for Foster and Homeless Children

  • Work with other city education agencies to standardize high school graduation requirements to help keep highly mobile students in school.

  • Partner with area school districts to minimize school disruptions for adopted or foster children moved across district lines.

Read the full testimony as submitted to the Council.