Earlier this month, the Washington Post published a story that DCPS had a $23 million dollar deficit. In that same story, Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn said that DCPS employed more effective and experienced teachers than it had anticipated in school year 2018/19, which contributed to the deficit.
Unfortunately, AJE is aware of several self-contained classrooms for students with disabilities where there were not “more effective and experienced teachers”, but instead there were no teachers at all and students were monitored by paraprofessionals for large portions of the school year. The failure to appropriately staff self-contained classrooms is especially damaging for the students assigned to those classes because that is typically their only teacher for the entire school day.
As a result, AJE has filed a State Complaint with OSSE asking that they investigate DCPS’ staffing practices in self-contained classes. If you are a parent, student, teacher or community member aware of understaffed self-contained classrooms, we ask that you notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure to share your information with the investigators at OSSE assigned to our complaint. If you would rather reach out directly to OSSE, you can reach them at osse.IDEAstatecomplaints@dc.gov or by calling Victoria Glick at (202) 724-7860.