Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Educational Stepladder Program.


§ 32–1651. Establishment of the Educational Stepladder program.

(a) There is established an Educational Stepladder program. The Educational Stepladder program shall provide funding for undertrained and unemployed District residents to enroll in certain certificate courses that are, in consultation with the Department of Employment Services (“DOES”):

(1) Offered by institutions of higher education accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and located in the District of Columbia; and

(2) Approved by the Workforce Investment Council (“Council”), established by § 32-1603.

(b) An institution of higher education described in subsection(a)(1) of this section that seeks to become a participant in the Educational Stepladder program is encouraged to enter into discussions with business and industry leaders to ascertain what workforce skills and knowledge are in demand so that the institution can design its course offerings to meet actual workforce needs in the District. The Council shall approve only courses that are:

(1) Tailored to the needs of the job market in the District;

(2) Designed to provide the student with marketable knowledge or a marketable skill;

(3) A maximum of 12 months in duration; and

(4) Student aid or grant eligible.


(Dec. 7, 2004, D.C. Law 15-205, § 1152, 51 DCR 8441; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 99(a), 53 DCR 6794.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 32-1603, § 51-109.01, and § 51-110.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-191, in subsecs. (a)(2) and (b), substituted “Council” for “Board”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) educational stepladder, see §§ 2 to 7 of Educational Stepladder Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-220, December 21, 2001, 49 DCR 400).

For temporary (90 day) educational stepladder, see §§ 2 to 7 of Educational Stepladder Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-303, March 25, 2002, 49 DCR 3395).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 1152 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) addition, see § 1152 of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-594, October 26, 2004, 51 DCR 11725).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) additions, see §§ 2 to 7 of Educational Stepladder Temporary Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-111, April 13, 2002, law notification 49 DCR 4059).

Short Title

Short title of subtitle N of title I of Law 15-205: Section 1151 of D.C. Law 15-205 provided that subtitle N of title I of the act may be cited as the Educational Stepladder Act of 2004.


§ 32–1652. Funding of program.

(a) The DOES shall make individual training account (“ITA”) funds received by the District pursuant to the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, approved August 7, 1998 (112 Stat. 936; 29 U.S.C. § 2801 et seq.), available to pay for a student’s enrollment in a certificate course; provided, that the course has been approved pursuant to the procedures and criteria established by this subtitle, and by the Council, in consultation with the DOES.

(b) The Council’s proposed procedures and criteria shall be submitted to the Council of the District of Columbia for a 30-day period of review, excluding days of Council of District of Columbia recess. If the Council of the District of Columbia does not approve or disapprove the procedures and criteria by resolution within this 30-day period, the procedures and criteria shall be deemed approved.

(c) Prior to expending ITA funds to pay for a student’s enrollment in an approved course, the institution or the student shall apply for any grant funds available to the institution or to the student for this purpose. In the case of a student who meets the eligibility requirements for a grant and who has made timely application for such grant but the funds have not been received by the institution, the institution shall credit the student’s account in the amount of the grant. Upon receipt of the grant, the institution shall apply the funds received to the student’s account. In the case where a grant is available, ITA funds shall be used to the extent that the cost of the course exceeds the amount of grant funds received.


(Dec. 7, 2004, D.C. Law 15-205, § 1153, 51 DCR 8441; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 99(b), 53 DCR 6794.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-191, in subsecs. (a) and (b), substituted “Council” for “Board”; and, in subsec. (b), substituted “Council of the District of Columbia” for “Council”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 1153 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) addition, see § 1153 of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-594, October 26, 2004, 51 DCR 11725).


§ 32–1653. Funding of students.

Pursuant to § 51-109.01, a student enrolled in an Educational Stepladder program approved course and who maintains a satisfactory level of attendance and achievement in the program and who is:

(1) Receiving unemployment insurance compensation shall be eligible for an extension of benefits for the duration of the program, up to a maximum amount of 52 times his or her weekly benefit amount, or 100% of the wages for employment paid the individual by employers during his or her base period, whichever is the lesser; this total amount includes regular benefits and any federal extension that may be in effect; or

(2) Not receiving unemployment insurance compensation may be eligible for a weekly monetary benefit equal to the unemployment insurance compensation weekly benefit amount a person earning minimum wage would receive, to the extent that funds are available, for the duration of the program, up to a maximum of 52 times the calculated weekly benefit.


(Dec. 7, 2004, D.C. Law 15-205, § 1154, 51 DCR 8441.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 1153 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) addition, see § 1153 of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-594, October 26, 2004, 51 DCR 11725).