The “Public Education Reform Amendment Act of 2007" (PERAA) effectuated a mayoral takeover of the District of Columbia public school system, substantially altering the educational paradigm in the District of Columbia by redistributing powers and authority concerning education.
Historically, the District of Columbia Board of Education was the central policymaking entity on education matters. However, with the enactment of PERAA, the Board of Education was removed from day-to-day management of DCPS and instead, DCPS became a cabinet-level, subordinate agency under the Mayor and a Department of Education was established, headed by a Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) to oversee the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).
The State Board of Education continues to play key roles in maintaining and improving the quality of public schools. Click here to review the roles and responsibilities of the State Board.
The District of Columbia's Public Education System
There are over 83,000 students enrolled in publically-funded schools in the District of Columbia. The majority of students are enrolled in District of Columbia Public Schools, while approximately 44% are enrolled in a charter school. To learn more about the District of Columbia's public schools, you can explore the following links:
Applying for and Enrolling in Schools
Since December 2013, the District of Columbia offers a common application and common lottery that easily allows families to match their children with the school that best meets their needs.
The My School DC common application allows families, who wish to send their students to a school other than their assigned right to attend DCPS schools or remain in his or her current school, to apply for public charter schools and DCPS including out-of-boundary schools, pre-kindergarten programs, and specialized high schools.
The Public School Charter Board (PCSB) also offers a mobile app, MyDCcharters, that helps families locate public charter school options and learn about the Performance Management Framework (PMF). Download the app from Google Play or Apple App Store.
Beyond LearnDC, our local education community offers many resources to support families in the daunting process of making good educational decisions and planning for their child’s academic success.
Explore resources, including a checklist for school visits from GreatSchools.org. Learn about how to identify high quality schools by checking out the expert guidance and support developed by well-known local and national organizations.