State Education Agency Independence Amendment Act of 2018
Introduced: September 18, 2018
Co-introducers: Chairman Phil Mendelson, Councilmembers Anita Bonds, Robert White, and Brianne K. Nadeau.
BILL TEXT | PRESS RELEASE
Summary: To amend the State Education Office Establishment Act of 2000 to establish the Office of the State Superintendent of Education as an independent agency and to amend the State Superintendent of Education’s term from 4 to 6 years.
Councilmember Grosso's Introduction Statement:
Thank you, Chairman Mendelson.
Today I am introducing the State Education Agency Independence Act of 2018, along with Chairman Mendelson, and Councilmembers Nadeau and Bonds
For the past few months I have engaged with community members about what the next steps to improving our education system are.
Many have expressed a desire to see more independent oversight of both traditional public and public charter schools that puts our students’ education above political victories.
The District has seen growth in education outcomes over the past 10 years because we have learned from what has been working and made gradual adjustments. This Bill is a continuation of those adjustments.
The State Education Agency has a number of responsibilities that require a more intentional level of autonomy and independence from politics than what is currently in place. By removing OSSE from the Office of the Mayor, extending the term of the State Superintendent, and only allowing for the removal of the State Superintendent but for cause, the State Superintendent would have the autonomy to hold all LEAs accountable without the consideration of what is politically best for the executive or any political entity.
The provisions contained in my legislation are necessary to move us to a more impartial education agency in the District of Columbia.
This legislation amends the State Education Office Establishment Act of 2000 to establish the Office of the State Superintendent of Education as an independent agency and amend the State Superintendent’s term from 4 years to 6 years.
This legislation will not stop scandals. It will however ensure that the public can trust as objective and impartial the work of OSSE and the Superintendent when they investigate issues that arise.
I look forward to the discussion spurred by this bill and would welcome any of my colleagues to cosponsor this bill.