Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–325.431. Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund.

*NOTE: This section includes amendments by emergency legislation that will expire on October 11, 2022. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation, click this link: Permanent Version.*

*NOTE: Section 4075 of D.C. Act 24-470 provides that the amendments made to this section by section 4072 of D.C. Act 24-470 shall apply as of July 13, 2022.*

(a) There is established as a special fund the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund ("Fund"), which shall be administered by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education ("OSSE") in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(b) The following funds shall be deposited into the Fund:

(1) In Fiscal Year 2022, $53,920,878 in local funds;

(2) In Fiscal Year 2023, $72,889,092 in local funds;

(3) In Fiscal Year 2024, $73,883,680 in local funds;

(4) In Fiscal Year 2025, $74,878,268 in local funds ("base amount"); and

(5) Beginning with Fiscal Year 2026, and annually thereafter, an amount equal to the base amount increased each year by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-MD-VA-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area (or such successor metropolitan statistical area that includes the District) increase for the preceding calendar year; and

(6) Any additional appropriated funds.

(c) The Fund shall be used to:

(1) Support the implementation of the ECE salary scale established and updated pursuant to § 4-410.02(b).

(1A) With funds appropriated in Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023, implement an early educator pay parity program that will provide direct, lump-sum payments to assistant teachers and lead teachers who elect to participate in the program as follows; provided, that an employee may elect to receive less than the stated amount:

(A) $10,000 each year if the employee is an assistant teacher; and

(B) $14,000 each year if the employee is a lead teacher.

(1B) Beginning in Fiscal Year 2023 and in any future fiscal year in which funds available for the Fund exceed those required to support other uses authorized pursuant to this subsection, reduce health insurance premiums paid by child development facilities or eligible employees of child development facilities, pursuant to an agreement with the DC Health Benefit Exchange.

(2)(A) Pay OSSE administrative costs related to implementing the early educator pay parity program authorized in paragraph (1A) of this subsection or increasing the minimum compensation for employees of child development facilities pursuant to the ECE salary scale established and updated pursuant to § 4-410.02(b), which may include:

(i) Personnel costs;

(ii) Grantee or vendor costs related to distributing pay supplements to early educators;

(iii) Costs related to providing technical assistance to child development facilities; and

(iv) Costs of conducting outreach to early childhood educators and child development facilities in Fiscal Year 2022 and in Fiscal Year 2023 to support the implementation of the Fund.

(B) Administrative costs authorized to be paid pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall not exceed $5,390,878 in Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023 and, in any fiscal year thereafter, 5% of the annual amount deposited in the Fund.

(d)(1) Money deposited into the Fund but not expended in a fiscal year shall not revert to the unassigned fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any time.

(2) Subject to authorization in an approved budget and financial plan, any funds appropriated in the Fund shall be continually available without regard to fiscal year limitation.

(d-1) Unless otherwise prohibited by federal law, lump-sum payments an individual receives in Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023 from the early educator pay parity program established pursuant to subsection (c)(1A) of this section shall not be counted as income or assets:

(1) For the purposes of determining eligibility or calculating benefits under Chapter 2 of Title 4; and

(2) For the purpose of determining eligibility or calculating benefits for the following benefit programs:

(A) D.C. HealthCare Alliance, referenced in § 7-771.07(2);

(B) Educational scholarships the District administers with local funds;

(C) Home Purchase Assistance Program, referenced in § 42-2602.01;

(D) Housing subsidy vouchers issued through § 6-226;

(E) Grandparent Caregiver Program established by § 4-251.02;

(F) Close Relative Caregiver Program, established by § 4-251.02; and

(G) Other District government benefit programs administered with local funds, including Strong Families, Strong Futures.

(e) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) "Assistant teacher" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 4-401(1).

(2) "Child development facility" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 4-401(2B).

(3) "ECE salary scale" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 4-401(4C).

(4) "Lead teacher" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 4-401(5A).

(f) Notwithstanding § 1-328.13, OSSE may enter into a sole source grant agreement covering Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023 for the purpose of implementing the early educator pay parity program by distributing direct, lump-sum payments to employees of early childhood development providers, as authorized pursuant to subsection (c)(1A) of this section.