As the D.C. charter school board prepares for a second hearing (Monday, Feb. 25) on an expanded list of items schools must post, the issue went even more public in recent days.
The Public Charter School Board (PCSB), the policy board that governs all 120+ D.C. charter schools (through 60-some local education agencies, each of which also has its own board), issued “version 2” of new rules Friday (8) for information that must be posted on each school’s website.
A previous draft issued in December 2018 drew critical comments from teachers and the general public testifying in a public hearing January 28. That plan did not expand the limited available information, only shifted it from a central website to schools’ own websites.
The D.C. Open Government Coalition testified, joining the calls for application of general D.C. laws, the Open Meetings Act (OMA) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), that assure general access—noting the anomaly that these laws do not apply to charter schools here, unlike most other states. (See earlier blog post here recounting the hearing and with links to video, written statements and later commentaries.)
Pressure built in the two weeks since then, with a petition by the EmpowerEd teacher group gaining over 400 names and public comments from D.C. Council Member Charles Allen, the D.C. deputy mayor for education and a national charter expert – all on the theme "more needs to be done."