Code of the District of Columbia

§ 38–1802.09. District of Columbia public school services to public charter schools.

(a) In general. — The Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization may provide services, such as facilities maintenance, to public charter schools. All compensation for costs of such services shall be subject to negotiation and mutual agreement between a public charter school and the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization.

(b) Preference in leasing or purchasing public school facilities. —

(1) Current and former public school properties. —

(A) In general. —

(i) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, regulation, or order, the Mayor shall give the right of first offer to purchase, lease, or otherwise use an excess school facility to an eligible entity.

(ii) In selecting an eligible entity for the purchase, lease, or use of an excess school facility, the Mayor shall give:

(I) First preference to an existing tenant that is a public charter school that has occupied all, or substantially all, of the facility or property;

(II) Second preference to a public charter school that the Public Charter School Board has determined to be high-performing and financially sound; and

(III) Third preference to any other eligible entity.

(B) Repealed.

(B-i) Existing tenants. -- For the purposes of this paragraph, an existing tenant of an excess school facility, other than an eligible entity, shall be deemed to be an eligible entity and given the same preference as an eligible entity under subparagraph (A)(ii)(II) of this paragraph if:

(i) The existing tenant is a nonprofit elementary or secondary school incorporated in the District or a community-based, nonprofit arts education organization incorporated in the District, whose programming includes youth classes; and

(ii) The existing tenant has continuously occupied all or substantially all of the excess school facility or property since December 30, 2008.

(C) Terms of purchase or lease. — The terms of purchase or lease of an excess school facility shall:

(i) Be negotiated by the Mayor in accordance with terms and conditions set forth in regulations;

(ii) Include rent or an acquisition price, whichever is applicable, that is equal to the appraised value of the excess school facility based on use of the property for school purposes; provided, that the Mayor may provide credits against the rental price, including a credit based on capital improvements made to the facility by the lessee, based upon a schedule of credits as set forth in regulations; and

(iii) Include a lease period, if the excess school facility is to be leased, of not less than 25 years, and renewable for additional 25-year periods; provided, that a lease involving a co-location agreement may include a lease or renewal period of less than 25 years.

(D) Disposition of an excess school facility. —

(i) Within 6 months of a school facility being designated as excess pursuant to §  38-2803(e), the Mayor shall make the facility available pursuant to this paragraph.

(ii) The Mayor may, at any time, determine any other school facility to be excess and make it available pursuant to this paragraph.

(iii) The Mayor may offer an excess school facility to an entity other than an eligible entity only if the following conditions have been met:

(I) The Mayor provided eligible entities with a right of first offer for the excess school facility pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and no eligible entity was selected; and

(II) The Mayor provided eligible entities an opportunity to submit unsolicited proposals for the purchase or lease of the excess school facility.

(iv) The submission period for unsolicited proposals shall begin 30 days after the submission deadline in the right of first offer made pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph for the particular excess school facility and shall remain open for 12 months or until an eligible entity is selected, whichever occurs first. For purposes of reviewing the unsolicited proposals, the Mayor shall use the same evaluation criteria as set forth in the original right of first offer made pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph for the particular excess school facility.

(v) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Mayor from utilizing an excess school facility for another government use while the property is being offered to eligible entities as required by this chapter: provided, that the use does not interfere with the right of first offer as set forth in this section.

(E) Reclamation of an excess school facility. —

(i) The Chancellor may, at any time, make a request to the Mayor based on the need for additional space as a result of projected enrollment increases to reclaim an excess school facility that has not yet been transferred pursuant to this subsection.

(ii) The Mayor shall approve the Chancellor’s request only if the Chancellor has explained with particularity to the Mayor’s satisfaction the need for DCPS to reclaim the excess school facility. The request and the approval, or disapproval, shall be in writing and made publicly available on the Mayor’s website.

(F) Applicability of existing rules and regulations. — The rules and regulations in place on June 21, 2014, shall continue to apply to an eligible applicant that has applied to purchase, lease, transfer, or use a school facility before June 21, 2014.

(2) Repealed.

(3) Conversion public charter schools. — Any District of Columbia public school that was approved to become a conversion public charter school under § 38-1802.01 before October 18, 2004, or is approved to become a conversion public charter school after October 18, 2004, shall have the right to exclusively occupy the facilities the school occupied as a District of Columbia public school under a lease for a period of not less than 25 years, renewable for additional 25-year periods as long as the school maintains its charter at the appraised value of the property based on use of the property for school purposes.


(Apr. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321 [244], Pub. L. 104-134, § 2209; Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009 [1466], Pub. L. 104-208, § 5205(d); Nov. 13, 2003, D.C. Law 15-39, § 332, 50 DCR 5668; Oct. 18, 2004, 118 Stat. 1349, Pub. L. 108-335, § 342(c); Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3342, Pub. L. 108-447, Div. J, Title I, § 103(a)(3); July 18, 2008, D.C. Law 17-183, § 2, 55 DCR 6099; Sept. 24, 2010, D.C. Law 18-223, § 4072, 57 DCR 6242; June 21, 2014, D.C. Law 20-114, § 2(b), 61 DCR 4669; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 4122, 63 DCR 10775.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2853.19.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 10-801, § 10-803.01, and § 47-392.25.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-39, in subsec. (b), inserted “first” before “preference” and inserted “, transfer, or use” after “lease ” in subpar. (1)(A), and inserted “first” before “preference” in subpar. (2)(A).

Pub. L. 108-335, as amended by Pub. L. 108-447, in par. (1) of subsec. (b), rewrote subpars. (A) and (B)(iii), and added subpar. (C); in par. (2)(A) of subsec. (b), substituted “a right to first offer” for “preference”; and added par. (3) to subsec. (b).

Pub. L. 108-447 amended Pub. L. 108-335. See Effective Date notes.

D.C. Law 17-183 rewrote subsec. (b)(1)(A), which had read as follows: “(A) In general.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, regulation, or order relating to the disposition of a facility or property described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, the Mayor and the District of Columbia government shall give a right of first offer with respect to any facility or property described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph not previously purchased, leased, or transferred, or under contract to be purchased, leased, or transferred, or the subject of a previously proposed resolution submitted by the Mayor on or before December 1, 2004, to the Council of the District of Columbia seeking authority for disposition of such facility or property, or under an Exclusive Rights Agreement executed on or before December 1, 2004, to an eligible applicant whose petition to establish a public charter school has been conditionally approved under § 38-1802.03(d)(2), or a Board of Trustees, with respect to the purchase, lease, transfer, or use of a facility or property described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph.”

D.C. Law 18-223, in subsec. (a), substituted “Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization” for “Superintendent”; in the lead-in language of subsec. (b)(1), substituted “Former public school property” for “current and former public school property”; in subsec. (b)(1)(B)(ii), substituted “former Board of Education or the Mayor or the Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools” for “Board of Education”; in subsec. (b)(1)(C)(iii), substituted “its charter; provided, that leases involving co-location agreements may include a lease period of less than 25 years” for “its charter”; and repealed subsec. (b)(2).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-114 rewrote (b)(1)(A) and (b)(1)(C); and added (b)(1)(D), (b)(1)(E), and (b)(1)(F).

Cross References

Disposition of certain school property, preference for public charter school, see § 47-392.25.

Temporary Legislation

Section 3 of D.C. Laws 13-143 added subsec. (c) to read as follows:

“(c) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b) of this section, there shall be a moratorium on the conversion of any District of Columbia public school into a public charter school.”.

Section 6(b) of D.C. Laws 13-143 provided: “This act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect or upon the effective date of the Moratorium on Conversion of Existing District of Columbia Public Schools into Charter Schools Amendment Act of 2000, or upon the date that final action is taken on Bill 13-582, the ‘District of Columbia School Reform Amendment Act of 1999’ and Bill 13-583, the ‘District of Columbia Public Charter School Conversion Petition Process Amendment Act of 2000’, or on amendments in the nature of a substitute to these two bills, whichever occurs first.”

Section 2 of D.C. Law 17-19, in subsec. (b)(1)(A), designated the existing text as subsec. (b)(1)(A)(i) and substituted “this paragraph; provided, that the right of first offer shall be offered to an existing tenant that is:

“(I)(aa) A public charter school that has occupied all, or substantially all, of the facility or property; or

“(bb) An organization providing educational or youth services under contract with the District government that has been a tenant of the facility or property, and has occupied all, or substantially all, of the facility or property since on or before December 1, 2004; and

“(II) In good standing on its existing lease agreement.” for “this paragraph.”, and added subsec. (b)(1)(A)(ii) to read as follows:

“(ii) Nothing in sub-subparagraph (i) of this subparagraph shall be construed to deem a facility or property to be surplus or to authorize the Mayor to dispose of a facility or property.”.

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 17-19 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Short Title

Short title of subtitle D of title III of Law 15-39: Section 331 of D.C. Law 15-39 provided that subtitle D of title III of the act may be cited as the Public Charter School Facilities Preference Amendment Act of 2003.

Short title: Section 4130 of D.C. Law 18-111 provided that subtitle N of title IV of the act may be cited as the “District of Columbia School Reform Education Facility Act of 2009”.

Short title: Section 4071 of D.C. Law 18-223 provided that subtitle H of title IV of the act may be cited as the “Public Charter School Access to District of Columbia Public School Buildings Clarification Amendment Act of 2010”.

Effective Dates

Section 103(b) of Div. J, title I, of Pub. L. 108-447, provided: “The amendments made by this section shall take effect as if included in the enactment of the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 2005 [Pub. L. 108-335]”.

Editor's Notes

Section 4131 of D.C. Law 18-111 provided:

“(a) Pursuant to section 2209(b)(1)(A)(i)(I)(bb) of the District of Columbia School Reform Act of 1995, approved April 26, 1996 (110 Stat. 1321; D.C. Official Code § 38-1802.09(b)(1)(A)(i)(I)(bb)), Associates for Renewal of Education, Inc., as an organization providing youth and educational services and a tenant of Slater School since prior to December 2004, shall:

“(1) Be offered the right of first offer on a disposition of Slater School;

“(2) Be permitted to remain and continue to operate in Slater School under existing terms and conditions throughout the leasing preference procedure; and

“(3) Be permitted to make any functional improvements and general repairs as necessary.

“(b) The Office of Property Management shall finalize a lease with Associates for Renewal of Education, Inc., within 90 days of the effective date of the District of Columbia School Reform Education Facility Emergency Act of 2009, passed on emergency basis on September 22, 2009 (Enrolled version of Bill 18-443) [October 15, 2009].”

Mayor's Orders

Procedures for Disposition of Surplus Properties and Facilities Formerly Under the Jurisdiction of the D.C. Public Schools, see Mayor’s Order 2000-150, October 5, 2000 ( 47 DCR 8266).

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of the Mayor’s Surplus Property Disposition Authority to the Director of the Office of Property Management to Dispose of Specified Properties on Behalf of the District of Columbia, see Mayor’s Order 2000-173, November 8, 2000 ( 47 DCR 9540).

Delegation of Authority-Office of Property Management, see Mayor’s Order 2007-260, December 7, 2007 ( 55 DCR 211).

Delegation of Authority Regarding the Purchase, Lease, Transfer, or Use of Former and Current School Property, see Mayor’s Order 2008-162, December 4, 2008 ( 56 DCR 330).