Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter I. General.


§ 38–101. Election; term of office; vacancies; meetings.

Repealed.


(June 20, 1906, 34 Stat. 316, ch. 3446, § 2(a)-(f); Jan. 26, 1929, 45 Stat. 1139, ch. 105; June 25, 1936, 49 Stat. 1921, ch. 804; June 25, 1948, 62 Stat. 991, ch. 646, § 32(b); May 24, 1949, 63 Stat. 107, ch. 139, § 127; Aug. 2, 1957, 71 Stat. 341, Pub. L. 85-119, § 1; Apr. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 102, Pub. L. 90-292, § 3(a), (c); Dec. 23, 1971, 85 Stat. 795, Pub. L. 92-220, § 3; Aug. 14, 1973, 87 Stat. 313, Pub. L. 93-92, § 2; Aug. 18, 1978, D.C. Law 2-101, § 4, 25 DCR 257; Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 3204(a), 25 DCR 5740; Sept. 26, 1984, D.C. Law 5-116, § 6, 31 DCR 4018; July 18, 2000, D.C. Law 13-149, § 2, 47 DCR 4639; Dec. 7, 2004, D.C. Law 15-211, § 2, 51 DCR 8805; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, §§ 53, 93, 52 DCR 2638; June 12, 2007, D.C. Law 17-9, § 1003(a), 54 DCR 4102.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-101(b)—(e).

1973 Ed., § 31-101.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-636.02.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3 of the Extension of the Nominating Petition Time Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-452, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9403).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Board of Education Continuity and Transition Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-465, June 30, 2004, 51 DCR 6997).

For temporary (90 day) maximization of federal and private grant acquisition provisions, see § 4052 of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-486, August 2, 2004, 51 DCR 8236).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Board of Education Continuity and Transition Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-533, October 4, 2004, 51 DCR 9628).

For temporary (90 day) maximization of federal and private grant acquisition provisions, see § 4052 of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-594, October 26, 2004, 51 DCR 11725).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Board of Education Continuity and Transition Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-659, December 29, 2004, 52 DCR 1434).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 15-204 rewrote subsec. (a); in subsec. (b), substituted “paragraph (3)(C), (E), and (F)” for “paragraph (3)(C) and (3)(D)” and substituted “including the at-large member” for “including the President” in par. (1), rewrote subpar. (A) of par. (3), repealed subpar. (D) of par. (3), and added subpars. (E) and (F) of par. (3); in subsec. (c), inserted “or ward” after “special school district” in par. (1); and in subsec. (f), substituted “subsection (b)(3)(C) and (E)” for “subsection (b)(3) (C)”. Subsec. (a), and subpars. (A), (E), and (F) of par. (3) of subsec. (b), read as follows:

“(a)(1) Beginning July 7, 2000, and ending at noon January 2, 2009, the Board of Education shall consist of 9 members. Four members shall be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council. Five members shall be elected. Four of the 5 elected members shall be elected from the 4 school districts created pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection. One member shall be elected at-large as the president of the Board.

“(2) Beginning July 7, 2000, and ending at noon January 2, 2009, the 4 school districts for the election of Board members pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, shall be comprised of the 8 election wards created pursuant to section 2 of the Boundaries Act of 1975, effective December 16, 1975 (D.C. Law 1-38; D.C. Official Code § 1-1011.01), as follows:

“(A) Wards 1 and 2 shall comprise School District I;

“(B) Wards 3 and 4 shall comprise School District II;

“(C) Wards 5 and 6 shall comprise School District III; and

“(D) Wards 7 and 8 shall comprise School District IV.

“(3) Beginning January 2, 2009, the Board of Education shall consist of 9 members. One member shall be elected from each of the 8 school election wards established pursuant to section 2 of the Boundaries Act of 1975, effective December 16, 1975 (D.C. Law 1-38; D.C. Official Code § 1-1011.01), and one member shall be elected at-large. The Board shall select its President from among the 9 members of the Board.”

“(A)(i) The term of office of a member of the Board of Education elected in a general election shall commence on January 2 of the year following the election. The term of office of an incumbent member of the Board shall expire at noon January 2 of the year following the general election.

“(ii) The term of a member elected from a school district or appointed pursuant to subsection (a)(1) of this section shall expire at noon January 2, 2009.”

“(E)(i) The 2 members of the Board of Education elected in 2006 from School Districts III and IV and the President elected in 2006 shall serve through January 2, 2009.

“(ii) The 2 members of the Board of Education appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council for terms to begin January 2, 2007, shall serve through January 2, 2009.”

“(F) The initial terms of the members of the Board of Education elected in the general election in November 2008 shall be as follows:

“(i) The 4 members elected from wards 1, 3, 5, and 7 shall serve 2 year terms, ending at noon January 2, 2011; and

“(ii) The 4 members elected from wards 2, 4, 6 and 8 and the member elected at-large shall serve 4 year terms, ending at noon January 2, 2013.”

Section 5(b) of D.C. Law 15-204 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.


§ 38–102. General policies; expenditures; appointment of employees.

(a) The Board of Education shall determine all questions of general policy relating to the schools and the Superintendent shall implement such policy. The Board of Education shall appoint and evaluate the Superintendent who shall be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the schools.

(b) The Board of Education shall, at least every 2 years, adopt and publish an Education Policy Agenda that establishes spending priorities, goals and objectives; that establishes the organizational chart for the District of Columbia Public Schools; and that recognizes the policy-setting role of the Board and the management role of the Superintendent. In the course of preparing the Agenda, the Board of Education and the Superintendent shall take into account the recommendations of the Mayor, community and parent organizations, and recognized experts in the fields of education and finance. The Agenda shall be published in the D.C. Register and newspapers of general circulation.

(c) The Board of Education shall hire the Superintendent of Schools who shall be the chief executive officer for District of Columbia Public Schools, serve as a nonvoting member of the Board, and be responsible for the operations of the schools. The Board and Superintendent shall negotiate a performance contract setting forth the specific responsibilities of the Superintendent and shall make the contract available to the public on request. The Board shall have the authority to remove the Superintendent.

(d) The Board of Education shall establish personnel policies and guidelines for the hiring of principals and other personnel by the Superintendent, but shall not make or approve personnel decisions or negotiate with representatives of employee organizations.

(e) The Board of Education shall establish guidelines and goals for academic achievement.


(June 20, 1906, 34 Stat. 317, ch. 3446, § 2(g); Apr. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 102, Pub. L. 90-292, § 3(b); July 18, 2000, D.C. Law 13-149, § 3, 47 DCR 4639; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 206, 56 DCR 1117.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-102.

1973 Ed., § 31-103.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-149 rewrote this section, which formerly read:

“The Board shall determine all questions of general policy relating to the schools, shall appoint the executive officers hereinafter provided for, define their duties, and direct expenditures. All expenditures of public funds for such school purposes shall be made and accounted for as now provided by law under the direction and control of the Mayor of the District of Columbia. The Board shall appoint all teachers in the manner hereinafter prescribed and all other employees provided for in this chapter.”

Section 7 of D.C. Law 13-149 provided: “This act shall apply upon the effective date of the School Governance Charter Amendment Act of 2000.”

D.C. Law 17-353, in the section credit, validated a previously made technical correction.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2 of the District of Columbia Public Schools Partnership Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-395, July 18, 2012, 59 DCR 8703).

For temporary establishment of the Public Schools Revenue Generation Fund, see § 2 of the District of Columbia Public Schools Partnership Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-395, July 18, 2012, 59 DCR 8703).

For temporary establishment of the Public Schools Revenue Generation Fund, see § 2 of the District of Columbia Public Schools Partnership Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-543, November 15, 2012, 59 DCR 13586), applicable as of October 16, 2012.

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 19-203 created the Public Schools Revenue Generation Fund as follows:

“There is established as a nonlapsing fund the Public Schools Revenue Generation Fund (‘Fund’), which shall be used solely as provided in subsection (d) of this section and administered by the District of Columbia Public Schools (‘DCPS’). The Fund shall be funded by annual appropriations, which shall be deposited into the Fund.”

“(b) All funds deposited into the Fund, and any interest earned on those funds, shall not revert to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time, but shall be continually available for the uses and purposes set forth in subsection (d) of this section without regard to fiscal year limitation, subject to authorization by Congress.

“(c) Funds deposited into the Fund shall include:

“(1) The sale of tickets to sporting events and school performances (‘Ticket Sales’); and

“(2) School facility use agreement and permit fees pursuant to this act (‘Use Agreements’).

“(d) The Fund shall be used to support the administration, improvement, and maintenance of property and programs managed by DCPS to supplement, but not replace, services provided by DCPS.

“(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, DCPS may contract for, pursuant to all applicable contracting and procurement guidelines, Ticket Sales and Use Agreements.

“(f) The Mayor, pursuant to Title 1 of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stat. 1204; D.C. Official Code § 2-501 et seq.), may issue rules to implement the provisions of this act. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 30-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, by resolution, within the 30-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-203 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Establishment of District of Columbia Advisory Committee on Education: See Mayor’s Order 89-256, November 7, 1989.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 38–103. Annual estimates. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(June 20, 1906, 34 Stat. 317, ch. 3446, § 2(h); Apr. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 102, Pub. L. 90-292, § 3(b); Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-48, § 2, 32 DCR 4583; Apr. 17, 1995, 109 Stat. 116, Pub. L. 104-8, § 202(g)(1); June 12, 2007, D.C. Law 17-9, § 1003(b), 54 DCR 4102; Mar. 21, 2009, D.C. Law 17-325, § 2, 56 DCR 499; Sept. 24, 2010, D.C. Law 18-223, § 4034, 57 DCR 6242.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-103.

1973 Ed., § 31-104.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Public Schools Hearing Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-11, February 25, 2009, 56 DCR 1915).

For temporary (90 day) repeal of section, see § 4034 of Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-463, July 2, 2010, 57 DCR 6542).

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Home Rule Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 38–104. Exemption from personal liability and security or bond requirement.

The members of the Board of Education of the District of Columbia shall not be personally liable in damages for any official action of the Board performed in good faith in which the members participate; nor shall any member of the Board be liable for any costs that may be taxed against them or the Board on account of any such official action by them as members of the Board; but such costs shall be charged to the District of Columbia and paid as other costs are paid in suits brought against the municipality; nor shall the said Board or any of its members be required to give any supersedeas bond or security for costs or damages on any appeal whatever.


(June 20, 1906, 34 Stat. 316, ch. 3446, § 2(i); Jan. 26, 1929, 45 Stat. 1139, ch. 105; Apr. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 102, Pub. L. 90-292, § 3(b).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-105.

1973 Ed., § 31-104a.


§ 38–105. Superintendent; appointment; term of office; duties. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(June 20, 1906, 34 Stat. 317, ch. 3446, § 3(1); Apr. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 102, Pub. L. 90-292, § 3(d); Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 3204(h), 25 DCR 5740; June 12, 2007, D.C. Law 17-9, § 1003(c), 54 DCR 4102.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-107.

1973 Ed., § 31-105.

Cross References

Annual school census, see §§ 31-20431-206.

Ceremonial expenses, see § 38-914.

Excusing children who are regularly employed from school attendance, see § 38-202.

License taxes, regulated non-health related occupations and professions, see § 47-2853.04.

Official expenses, see § 38-915.

Removal of Superintendent, see § 38-106.

Textbooks and supplies, recommendations for purchase, see § 38-704.


§ 38–106. Removal of Superintendent. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(June 20, 1906, 34 Stat. 317, ch. 3446, § 3(2); Apr. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 102, Pub. L. 90-292, § 3(d); June 12, 2007, D.C. Law 17-9, § 1003(d), 54 DCR 4102.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-110.

1973 Ed., § 31-108.


§ 38–107. Supervisor of Manual Training.

There shall be appointed by the Board a Supervisor of Manual Training who, under the direction of the Superintendent, shall have supervision of manual training instruction.


(June 20, 1906, 34 Stat. 317, ch. 3446, § 3(6); Apr. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 102, Pub. L. 90-292, § 3(d).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-111.

1973 Ed., § 31-111.


§ 38–108. Classification by correlated subjects.

The Board of Education shall classify all academic and scientific subjects in the Central, Eastern, Western, and Business High Schools, and the McKinley Manual Training School into 8 departments so that each department shall contain correlated subjects, and the M Street High School and the Armstrong Manual Training School shall be similarly classified into 4 departments so that each department shall contain correlated subjects.


(June 20, 1906, 34 Stat. 319, ch. 3446, § 5(1); Apr. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 102, Pub. L. 90-292, § 3(d).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-112.

1973 Ed., § 31-112.


§ 38–109. Head of department; head teacher; class size limitation.

Whenever a department includes 2 or more high schools, then the teacher in charge of the department shall be designated “head of the department,” otherwise the teacher in charge of the department shall be designated “head teacher”; provided, that heads of departments as such have only an advisory capacity in educational matters and upon all questions shall be inferior in authority to the principal of each particular school; provided further, that no class shall be formed in the high schools with less than 10 pupils for a period not longer than 15 days.


(June 20, 1906, 34 Stat. 319, ch. 3446, § 5(2).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-113.

1973 Ed., § 31-113.


§ 38–110. Qualifications required of teachers and officials. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(June 20, 1906, 34 Stat. 319, ch. 3446, § 6; June 26, 1912, 37 Stat. 156, ch. 182; Feb. 25, 1929, 45 Stat. 1276, ch. 314, § 1; Mar. 16, 1982, D.C. Law 4-78, § 14, 29 DCR 49.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-114.

1973 Ed., § 31-114.


§ 38–111. Investigation or trial of teacher.

When a teacher is on trial or being investigated he or she shall have the right to be attended by counsel and by at least 1 friend of his or her selection.


(June 20, 1906, 34 Stat. 321, ch. 3446, § 10.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-115.

1973 Ed., § 31-116.


§ 38–112. Masculine pronoun to include both male and female.

Wherever the masculine pronoun occurs in this chapter it shall be construed to apply to either male or female teachers or employees of the Board of Education.


(June 20, 1906, 34 Stat. 321, ch. 3446, § 12; Apr. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 102, Pub. L. 90-292, § 3(d).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-116.

1973 Ed., § 31-117.