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DCSBOE Public Meeting 4.15.2015

Public Meeting 4/15/2015 - 5:30 PM

441 4th Street NW Old Council Chambers

Meeting Minutes

Attendees - voting members

  • Jack Jacobson, President
  • Karen Lee Williams, Vice President
  • Kamili Anderson, Board Member
  • Tierra Jolly, Board Member
  • Mark Jones, Board Member
  • Mary Lord, Board Member
  • Ruth Wattenberg, Board Member
  • Laura Wilson Phelan, Board Member
  • Betel Asfaha, Student Representative
  • Student Representative

Call to Order

Announcement of a Quorum

Approval of the Agenda


  • Jack Jacobson - Yes
  • Karen Lee Williams - Yes
  • Kamili Anderson - Yes
  • Tierra Jolly - Yes
  • Mark Jones - No Vote
  • Mary Lord - Yes
  • Ruth Wattenberg - Yes
  • Laura Wilson Phelan - Yes
  • Betel Asfaha - Yes

Approval of Minutes

  • March 26 - Approved, Voice Vote
  • April 1 - Approved, Voice Vote


  • Jack Jacobson - Yes
  • Karen Lee Williams - Yes
  • Kamili Anderson - Yes
  • Tierra Jolly - Yes
  • Mark Jones - No Vote
  • Mary Lord - Yes
  • Ruth Wattenberg - Yes
  • Laura Wilson Phelan - Yes
  • Betel Asfaha - Yes

Comments from the President of the D.C. State Board of Education

Comments from the State Superintendent of Education

Public Comments

  • Cathy Reilly, Executive Director, Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals and Educators 
  • Lecester Johnson, CEO of Academy of Hope Adult Public Charter School
  • Julie Meyer, Executive Director, The Next Step Public Charter School 
  • Amy Dudas, DC Alliance of Youth Advocates
  • Dr. Madye Henson, President and CEO, Covenant House Washington 
  • Merilyn Holmes, President, Total Sunshine, Inc.

Consideration of a State Diploma for OSSE-Managed Schools

Superintendent Kang provided an update. Rules would be published next week, but the comment period would come after the State Board's May public meeting.

  1. OSSE can move forward with an emergency rule which would not necessarily come before the Board; the emergency rule would be in effect for 120 days. 
  2. We can move forward with a vote on May 20, but the 30-day comment period for the proposed rule would not be final, and thus may result in not all public comments not being received. 
  3. We can move forward with a special meeting on May 27 with a vote on that date, after expiration of the 30-day comment period; that is Memorial Day week. 
  4. OSSE can move forward with an emergency rule and, simultaneously, we can move forward with the permanent rule with a possible vote at our regularly-scheduled June 17 meeting.

Questions Asked:

MJ: What happens after the 120 day emergency period? A. The rulemaking would expire, OSSE's authority would end at that time.

MJ, 2nd Round: Why hasn't Challenge Program's request for GED diplomas come before OSSE? Process and planning are important - MJ is surprised/disappointed that this wasn't moved earlier. What is opinion of OAG for whether emergency rulemaking needs to be voted on by the State Board? 

RW: Comment: In favor of voting on emergency resolution now. And for having permanent rule adopted later, June or later, to hear question on broader debate to see what instance should OSSE have the ability to award a diploma. Should take up each diploma separately, starting in the subsequent times. 

RW, 2nd Round: What are the categories for need for OSSE diploma? 1) Charter has reliquished charters 2) GED students 3) NADP students 4) Homeschoolers 5) others? special education, perhaps? 

Question: Want to do emergency now?

Proposal: At next working meeting, take steps to take up issue about schools that are OSSE-managed/charter relinquished in June, July to move forward with GED, etc.

JJ clarified what measures and when we would vote on them. State Board is looking into whether the State Board needs to vote on emergency rulemaking.

ML: Why not vote on an emergency rule? The State Board voted on removing the thesis requirement and changing the start date of school - these were both emergencies. 

ML, 2nd Round: What prevents another charter from relinquishing its charter and causing this situation again? 

KA: Have we exhausted options? 

KA, 2nd Round: What was obligation of PCSB after giving up a charter? PCSB feels no responsibility. Why is OSSE compelled to take this up?

JJ: Want emergency legislation to come before the State Board.

TJ: We should put the needs of students first. 

JJ: Made comments.