Statement of Councilmember Mary M. Cheh on Proposed Changes to School Assignment Policies

Cheh expresses her views on proposed changes to School Boundaries

“I appreciate the effort that the Deputy Mayor of Education has invested in reviewing school assignment policies.  However, I want to make clear that I will vigorously oppose any plan that does not maintain the right of families to send their children to their neighborhood public schools.

It used to be that families, frequently after elementary school, would flee the District for Maryland and Virginia in order for their children to attend better public schools.  In recent years, as our schools have improved and as families’ confidence in DCPS has been restored, we have seen a reversal of this trend.  Many families who have moved into the District recently have purchased their homes precisely because of the public schools in their neighborhoods.  Forcing children out of neighborhood schools will shatter this confidence – especially if families are forced to participate in a lottery that will send children far away from their homes.

I am also disappointed that the recommendations do not discuss any grandfathering provisions. No matter what changes may be made, it is essential that the students and their families currently in the public school system be held harmless and not be forced to change schools.  I look forward to working with the Deputy Mayor, with the PTAs of Ward 3 schools, and with families and residents to craft a plan that both addresses overcrowding and ensures neighborhood schools.”


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