D.C. Law 21-252. State Board of Education Omnibus Amendment Act of 2016.

D.C. Law 21-252. State Board of Education Omnibus Amendment Act of 2016.

AN ACT

To amend the State Board of Education Establishment Act of 2007 to update the State Board of Education authorizing statute to conform to federal law and clarify the board's authority with respect to the Office of Ombudsman for Public Education and the Office of the Student Advocate; to amend the Ombudsman for Public Education Establishment Act of 2007 to update the authority and responsibilities of the Office of Ombudsman for Public Education; to amend the Office of the Student Advocate Establishment Act of 2013 to update the authority and responsibilities of the Office of the Student Advocate; and to amend the District of Columbia Government Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978 to make conforming amendments.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "State Board of Education Omnibus Amendment Act of 2016".

Sec. 2. Section 403 of the State Board of Education Establishment Act of 2007, effective June 12, 2007 (D.C. Law 17-9; D.C. Official Code § 38-2652), is amended as follows:

Amend § 38-2652

(a) Subsection (a) is amended as follows:

(1) Paragraph (1A) is amended to read as follows:

"(1A) Oversee the Office of Ombudsman for Public Education and the Office of the Student Advocate in accordance with subsection (d) of this section and the Ombudsman for Public Education Establishment Act of 2007, effective June 12, 2007 (D.C. Law 17-9; D.C. Official Code § 38-351 et seq.), and the Office of the Student Advocate Establishment Act of 2013, effective February 22, 2014 (D.C. Law 20-76; D.C. Official Code § 38-371 et seq.), respectively.".

(2) Paragraph (5) is repealed.

(3) Paragraph (6) is amended by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting the phrase "or teacher preparation academies;" in its place.

(4) Paragraph (7) is amended as follows:

(A) The lead-in language is amended to read as follows:

"(7) Approve the state accountability plan for the District of Columbia developed by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education pursuant to section 1111 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, approved January 8, 2002 (115 Stat. 1444; 20 U.S.C. § 6311), ensuring that:".

(B) Subparagraph (A) is amended by striking the phrase "that will ensure all local education agencies make adequate yearly progress" and inserting the phrase "that establishes ambitious long-term student achievement goals, which include measurements of interim progress toward meeting those goals" in its place.

(C) Subparagraph (B) is amended by striking the phrase "academic standards, academic assessments, a standardized system of accountability across all local education agencies, and a system of sanctions and rewards" and inserting the phrase ", but is not limited to, challenging state academic standards, academic assessments, and a standardized system of accountability across all local education agencies" in its place.

(5) Paragraph (12) is amended by striking the phrase "the NCLB Act" and inserting the phrase "section 1111(h) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, approved January 8, 2002 (115 Stat. 1444; 20 U.S.C. § 6311(h))" in its place.

Amend § 38-2652

(b) Subsection (b) is amended by striking the phrase ", which may be conducted at a location in a ward" and inserting the phrase "at a location in the District designated by the Board" in its place.

Amend § 38-2652

(c) Subsection (c) is amended as follows:

(1) The existing text is designated as paragraph (1).

(2) A new paragraph (2) is added to read as follows:

"(2) The Board shall have access to the public comments submitted during the public comment period on matters that the Office of the State Superintendent of Education submits to the Board for policy approval.".

Note § 38-2652

(d) Subsection (d) is amended as follows:

Amend § 38-2652

(1) Paragraph (1) is amended by striking the period at the end and inserting the phrase "; provided, that such order shall not impair the exclusive budget and personnel authority granted to the Office of Ombudsman for Public Education pursuant to section 602 of the Ombudsman for Public Education Establishment Act of 2007, effective June 12, 2007 (D.C. Law 17-9; D.C. Official Code § 38-351), or the Office of the Student Advocate pursuant to section 202 of the Office of the Student Advocate Establishment Act of 2013, effective February 22, 2014 (D.C. Law 20-76; D.C. Official Code § 38-371)." in its place.

Amend § 38-2652

(2) Paragraph (2) is amended by striking the period at the end and inserting the phrase "; provided, that the Board shall have no personnel authority over the staff of the Office of Ombudsman for Public Education or the Office of the Student Advocate, except as provided in section 602 of the Ombudsman for Public Education Establishment Act of 2007, effective June 12, 2007 (D.C. Law 17-9; D.C. Official Code § 38-351), and section 202 of the Office of the Student Advocate Establishment Act of 2013, effective February 22, 2014 (D.C. Law 20-76; D.C. Official Code § 38-371), respectively." in its place.

Amend § 38-2652

(3) Paragraph (3) is amended as follows:

(A) The existing text is designated as subparagraph (A).

(B) A new subparagraph (B) is added to read as follows:

"(B)(i) The Office of Ombudsman for Public Education and the Office of the Student Advocate shall be represented as separate program codes within the Board's budget.

"(ii) The Board shall coordinate with the Ombudsman for Public Education and the Chief Advocate of the Office of the Student Advocate to ensure that the annual estimates prepared pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph reflect the expenditures and appropriations necessary for the operations of those offices.".

Amend § 38-2652

(4) A new paragraph (6) is added to read as follows:

"(6) The Board shall provide personnel and resource support to the Office of Ombudsman for Public Education and the Office of the Student Advocate as necessary to facilitate the operations of those offices.".

Sec. 3. The Ombudsman for Public Education Establishment Act of 2007, effective June 12, 2007 (D.C. Law 17-9; D.C. Official Code § 38-351 et seq.), is amended as follows:

(a) Section 602 (D.C. Official Code § 38-351) is amended as follows:

Amend § 38-351

(1) Subsection (a) is amended by striking the comma and inserting the phrase "("Office")," in its place.

Amend § 38-351

(2) Subsection (b)(3) is amended by striking the word "majority" and inserting the number "2/3" in its place.

Amend § 38-351

(3) Subsection (d) is amended by striking the period at the end and inserting the phrase "in a way that, in the opinion of the Office, furthers students' best interests." in its place.

Note § 38-351

(4) New subsections (d-1) and (d-2) are added to read as follows:

Amend § 38-351

"(d-1) The Ombudsman shall serve as the exclusive personnel authority for employees of the Office, and may hire staff to support the Office's operations consistent with the Office's budget.

Amend § 38-351

"(d-2) The Ombudsman shall have exclusive authority to administer the Office's budget, subject to the oversight of the State Board of Education to ensure compliance with District law.".

Amend § 38-353

(b) Section 604 (D.C. Official Code § 38-353) is amended as follows:

(1) Paragraph (5) is amended by striking the phrase "personnel actions, policies, and procedures" and inserting the phrase "policies and procedures" in its place.

(2) Paragraph (10) is amended by striking the phrase "when the parties are involved in legal or administrative proceedings," and inserting the phrase "where the parties have initiated legal or administrative proceedings involving the complaint," in its place.

(3) Paragraph (13) is amended by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting the phrase "and communication between public schools and parents and guardians;" in its place.

(4) Paragraph (15) is amended as follows:

(A) Subparagraph (D) is amended to read as follows:

"(D) Complaints dismissed as unfounded;".

(B) Subparagraph (F) is amended by striking the word "and" at the end.

(5) Paragraph (16) is amended by striking the period and inserting the phrase "; and" in its place.

(6) A new paragraph (17) is added to read as follows:

"(17) Have the authority to issue reports and recommendations related to the Office of Ombudsman's work without prior review or approval by another entity.".

Amend § 38-354

(c) Section 605 (D.C. Official Code § 38-354) is amended as follows:

(1) Paragraph (4) is amended to read as follows:

"(4) Examine and investigate an act or failure to act of any public school official or employee, including whether actions or failures to act are unreasonable, unfair, or discriminatory, even though in accordance with the law;".

(2) Paragraph (5) is amended by striking the word "examination" and inserting the phrase "examination and investigation" in its place.

Amend § 38-355

(d) Section 606 (D.C. Official Code § 38-355) is amended as follows:

(1) Subsection (a) is amended as follows:

(A) Paragraph (2) is repealed.

(B) Paragraph (4) is amended by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting the phrase ", except with regard to the employees of the Office of Ombudsman;" in its place.

(2) Subsection (b)(1) is amended to read as follows:

"(1) Be compelled to testify in a legal or administrative proceeding regarding a current or past Office of Ombudsman examination or investigation or to release information, including documents or records, gathered during the course of an examination or investigation;".

Amend § 38-356

(e) Section 606a (D.C. Official Code § 38-356) is amended as follows:

(1) Subsection (e) is amended by striking the phrase "The Office of Ombudsman" and inserting the phrase "Except as provided in subsection (f) of this section, the Office of Ombudsman" in its place.

(2) A new subsection (f) is added to read as follows:

"(f) The Ombudsman may refrain from investigating a complaint if the Ombudsman reasonably believes one or more of the following:

"(1) It is plain from the face of the complaint that an adequate remedy is presently available, such that investigation is unwarranted;

"(2) The complaint relates to a matter that is outside the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman;

"(3) The complaint relates to an act of which the complainant has had knowledge for an unreasonable length of time before the complaint was submitted;

"(4) The complainant does not have a sufficient personal interest in the subject matter of the complaint;

"(5) Investigation of the complaint would not facilitate an action authorized pursuant to subsection (e) of this section;

"(6) The complaint is made in bad faith; or

"(7) The resources of the Ombudsman are insufficient for adequate investigation.".

Sec. 4. The Office of the Student Advocate Establishment Act of 2013, effective February 22, 2014 (D.C. Law 20-76; D.C. Official Code § 38-371 et seq.), is amended as follows:

(a) Section 202 (D.C. Official Code § 38-371) is amended as follows:

Amend § 38-371

(1) Subsection (b) is amended by striking the word "majority" and inserting the number "2/3" in its place.

Note § 38-371

(2) New subsections (d-1) and (d-2) are added to read as follows:

Amend § 38-371

"(d-1) The Chief Advocate shall serve as the exclusive personnel authority for employees of the Office and may hire staff to support the Office's operations consistent with the Office's budget.

Amend § 38-371

"(d-2) The Chief Advocate shall have exclusive authority to administer the Office's budget, subject to the oversight of the State Board of Education to ensure compliance with District law.".

Amend § 38-373

(b) Section 204 (D.C. Official Code § 38-373) is amended as follows:

(1) Paragraph (2) is amended by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting the phrase "that is not already publicly available, or is difficult to locate or identify;" in its place.

(2) Paragraph (7) is amended to read as follows:

"(7) Develop and maintain a database that tracks issues brought to the attention of the Office, identified by ward, name of public school, resource or referral given, and resolution of such issues;".

(3) Paragraph (8) is amended by striking the phrase "staff training, and strategies" and inserting the phrase "staff training, and strategies on family, student, and community engagement" in its place.

(4) Paragraph (9)(G) is amended by striking the phrase "; and" at the end and inserting a semicolon in its place.

(5) Paragraph (10) is amended by striking the period at the end and inserting the phrase "; and" in its place.

(6) A new paragraph (11) is added to read as follows:

"(11) Have the authority to issue reports and recommendations related to the Office's work without prior review or approval by any entity.".

Amend § 38-374

(c) Section 205(b) (D.C. Official Code § 38-374(b)) is amended by striking the phrase "parent or guardian volunteers" and inserting the phrase "student or parent or guardian volunteers" in its place.

Note § 1-604.06

Sec. 5. Section 406(b)(22) of the District of Columbia Government Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978, effective March 3, 1979 (D.C. Law 2-139; D.C. Official Code § 1-604.06(b)(22)), is amended to read as follows:

Amend § 1-604.06

"(22)(A) For the Ombudsman for Public Education, the Chief Advocate of the Office of the Student Advocate, and employees of the State Board of Education, the personnel authority is the State Board of Education.

"(B) For employees of the Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education, the personnel authority is the Ombudsman for Public Education.

"(C) For employees of the Office of the Student Advocate, the personnel authority is the Chief Advocate of the Office of the Student Advocate.".

Sec. 6. Applicability.

(a) Section 2(d)(1) and (2), section 3(a)(4), section 4(a)(2), and section 5 shall apply upon the date of inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan.

(b) The Chief Financial Officer shall certify the date of the inclusion of the fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, and provide notice to the Budget Director of the Council of the certification.

(c)(1) The Budget Director shall cause the notice of the certification to be published in the District of Columbia Register.

(2) The date of publication of the notice of the certification shall not affect the applicability of this act.

Sec. 7. Fiscal impact statement.

The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 4a of the General Legislative Procedures Act of 1975, approved October 16, 2006 (120 Stat. 2038; D.C. Official Code § 1-301.47a).

Sec. 8. Effective date.

This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), a 30-day period of congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(1)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.