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Policy

DC Action for Children works in partnership with government, advocates and providers to bring positive and lasting change for D.C.’s youngest citizens. We regularly testify before the D.C. Council and when necessary, we will draft legislation backed by evidence and best practices.

Budget Hearings (Fiscal Year 2015)

DC Action for Children testified at the budget hearing for the DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA). Our testimony focused on the importance of preventative, community-based strategies such as home visiting for reducing instances of child abuse and neglect, and recommended the agency be allowed to continue its progress by reinvesting savings from the reduction in out-of-home placements.

Read our remarks here.

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Performance Oversight Hearings (Fiscal Year 2013-2014)

DC Action for Children testified at the Performance Oversight hearing for the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). Our testimony focused on child care quality, education data, and tracking the achievement gap for children from low-income families.

Read our remarks here.

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DC Action for Children testified at the DCPS performance hearing about the importance of strong elementary schools, the progress that has been made for Pre-K to 3rd grade students and the need for more high quality Pre-K seats.

Read our remarks here.

--

DC Action for Children testified at the Performance Oversight hearing for the DC Department of Health (DOH). The testimony focused on early childhood home visiting.

Read our remarks here.

--

DC Action for Children testified at the Performance Oversight hearing for the DC Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF). The testimony focused on the importance of Medicaid access for DC children.

Read our remarks here.

2014 Bills

Testimony of Bonnie O’Keefe, Senior Policy Analyst on the Title IX Athletic Equity Act of 2014 before the Committee on Education, Council of the District of Columbia on January 22, 2014.

In this testimony, Senior Policy Analyst Bonnie O’Keefe urges the DC Council to pass the Title IX Athletic Equity Act, which would increase data transparency and require citywide planning to fix the demonstrated gender gap in sports participation among girls in DC. She also shares some of the health and educational benefits of sports participation, including decreasing the percentage of DC children who are overweight or obese.

Read more here!

Performance Oversight Hearings (Fiscal Year 2012-2013)

District of Columbia Public Schools

Before the Committee on Education

Council of the District of Columbia

DC Action for Children Public Policy Analyst Bonnie O'Keefe testified at the Performance Oversight hearing for District of Columbia Public Schools. Her testimony focused on two areas of concern for young children, which we hope DCPS leaders will address in the upcoming oversight and budget hearings: population and planning for early care and education, and its connection to third grade proficiency.

Read her remarks here.

2013 Bills

Hearing on the State of Pre-K in DC

Testimony of Bonnie O'Keefe, Senior Policy Analyst
Submitted to the Committee on Education of the Council of the District of Columbia

December 11, 2013
This testimony recommends solutions and priorities for improving Pre-K in DC, including better assessments of program quality, increased parent engagement and investment in early childhood programs.

Read more here!

Hearing on the Healthy Tots Act of 2013

Testimony of Bonnie O'Keefe, Senior Policy Analyst
Submitted to the Committee on Education of the Council of the District of Columbia

December 11, 2013
This testimony supports the Healthy Tots Act, which provides incentives for child care facilities to serve healthy, locally grown, unprocessed foods to infants and toddlers. It also encourages child care facilities to form partnerships with the Department of Parks and Recreation to provide opportunities for physical activity and play to children in child care facilities.

Read more here!

Hearing on the DC Promise Establishment Act of 2013

Testimony of Bonnie O'Keefe, Senior Policy Analyst
Submitted to the Committee on Education of the Council of the District of Columbia

November 13, 2013
This testimony supports the creation DC Promise, a tuition grant fund targeted at graduates of public schools in DC from low and middle income families, with additional supports for youth in the DC foster care system, and emphasizes the importance of higher education for economic mobility and prosperity in adulthood.

Read more here!

Response Letter to the Deputy Mayor for Education on the Draft Education Advocacy Study

October 11, 2013

Read our letter in response to the Draft Education Advocacy Study, which proposes changes to the ways DC schools are funded. In it, we recommend a focus on budget transparency down to the school level, and ask questions about how a new school budget formula should identify and allocate funds to students with high needs due to poverty.

Read more here!


Hearing on the Parent and Student Empowerment Act of 2013

Testimony of HyeSook Chung, Executive Director
Submitted in Writing to the Committee on Education of the Council of the District of Columbia

July 9, 2013
This testimony reflects on the role the offices of the proposed education ombudsman and chief student advocate could play in improving services for young children with delays and disabilities and their families.

Read more here!


Hearings on the Blueprint for Achievement and Accountability bills, specifically the Fair Student Funding and School Based Budget Act of 2013 and the Individual School Accountability Act of 2013.

Testimony of HyeSook Chung, Executive Director
Submitted in Writing to the Committee on Education Council of the District of Columbia

July 9, 2013
This testimony recommends extensive community input and neighborhood focus for as the committee considers proposed education bills. It also supports changes to school funding to account for the needs of children in poverty.

Read more here!


Education Reform Proposals

In June, 2013, DC Council Committee on Education Chairperson David Catania introduced seven education bills. This snapshot includes a summary of the contents of each bill as it was introduced. We hope it will be a helpful reference for parents, advocates and policymakers.

Read here.


Hearing on the Attendance Accountability Amendment Act of 2013

DC Action for Children Executive Director HyeSook Chung testified on February 12 before the Committee of the Whole and the Committee on Education of the District of Columbia. Her testimony focused on five recommendations:

  • Take a preventive approach,
  • Use sound data,
  • Address absenteeism earlier,
  • Examine evidence from other jurisdictions, and
  • Consider capacity implications of this legislation.

Read her testimony here.

Budget Hearings (Fiscal Year 2015)

DC Action for Children testified at the budget hearing for the DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA). Our testimony focused on the importance of preventative, community-based strategies such as home visiting for reducing instances of child abuse and neglect, and recommended the agency be allowed to continue its progress by reinvesting savings from the reduction in out-of-home placements.

Read our remarks here.

--

Performance Oversight Hearings (Fiscal Year 2013-2014)

DC Action for Children testified at the Performance Oversight hearing for the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). Our testimony focused on child care quality, education data, and tracking the achievement gap for children from low-income families.

Read our remarks here.

--

DC Action for Children testified at the DCPS performance hearing about the importance of strong elementary schools, the progress that has been made for Pre-K to 3rd grade students and the need for more high quality Pre-K seats.

Read our remarks here.

--

DC Action for Children testified at the Performance Oversight hearing for the DC Department of Health (DOH). The testimony focused on early childhood home visiting.

Read our remarks here.

--

DC Action for Children testified at the Performance Oversight hearing for the DC Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF). The testimony focused on the importance of Medicaid access for DC children.

Read our remarks here.

2014 Bills

Testimony of Bonnie O’Keefe, Senior Policy Analyst on the Title IX Athletic Equity Act of 2014 before the Committee on Education, Council of the District of Columbia on January 22, 2014.

In this testimony, Senior Policy Analyst Bonnie O’Keefe urges the DC Council to pass the Title IX Athletic Equity Act, which would increase data transparency and require citywide planning to fix the demonstrated gender gap in sports participation among girls in DC. She also shares some of the health and educational benefits of sports participation, including decreasing the percentage of DC children who are overweight or obese.

Read more here!

Performance Oversight Hearings (Fiscal Year 2012-2013)

District of Columbia Public Schools

Before the Committee on Education

Council of the District of Columbia

DC Action for Children Public Policy Analyst Bonnie O'Keefe testified at the Performance Oversight hearing for District of Columbia Public Schools. Her testimony focused on two areas of concern for young children, which we hope DCPS leaders will address in the upcoming oversight and budget hearings: population and planning for early care and education, and its connection to third grade proficiency.

Read her remarks here.

2013 Bills

Hearing on the State of Pre-K in DC

Testimony of Bonnie O'Keefe, Senior Policy Analyst
Submitted to the Committee on Education of the Council of the District of Columbia

December 11, 2013
This testimony recommends solutions and priorities for improving Pre-K in DC, including better assessments of program quality, increased parent engagement and investment in early childhood programs.

Read more here!

Hearing on the Healthy Tots Act of 2013

Testimony of Bonnie O'Keefe, Senior Policy Analyst
Submitted to the Committee on Education of the Council of the District of Columbia

December 11, 2013
This testimony supports the Healthy Tots Act, which provides incentives for child care facilities to serve healthy, locally grown, unprocessed foods to infants and toddlers. It also encourages child care facilities to form partnerships with the Department of Parks and Recreation to provide opportunities for physical activity and play to children in child care facilities.

Read more here!

Hearing on the DC Promise Establishment Act of 2013

Testimony of Bonnie O'Keefe, Senior Policy Analyst
Submitted to the Committee on Education of the Council of the District of Columbia

November 13, 2013
This testimony supports the creation DC Promise, a tuition grant fund targeted at graduates of public schools in DC from low and middle income families, with additional supports for youth in the DC foster care system, and emphasizes the importance of higher education for economic mobility and prosperity in adulthood.

Read more here!

Response Letter to the Deputy Mayor for Education on the Draft Education Advocacy Study

October 11, 2013

Read our letter in response to the Draft Education Advocacy Study, which proposes changes to the ways DC schools are funded. In it, we recommend a focus on budget transparency down to the school level, and ask questions about how a new school budget formula should identify and allocate funds to students with high needs due to poverty.

Read more here!


Hearing on the Parent and Student Empowerment Act of 2013

Testimony of HyeSook Chung, Executive Director
Submitted in Writing to the Committee on Education of the Council of the District of Columbia

July 9, 2013
This testimony reflects on the role the offices of the proposed education ombudsman and chief student advocate could play in improving services for young children with delays and disabilities and their families.

Read more here!


Hearings on the Blueprint for Achievement and Accountability bills, specifically the Fair Student Funding and School Based Budget Act of 2013 and the Individual School Accountability Act of 2013.

Testimony of HyeSook Chung, Executive Director
Submitted in Writing to the Committee on Education Council of the District of Columbia

July 9, 2013
This testimony recommends extensive community input and neighborhood focus for as the committee considers proposed education bills. It also supports changes to school funding to account for the needs of children in poverty.

Read more here!


Education Reform Proposals

In June, 2013, DC Council Committee on Education Chairperson David Catania introduced seven education bills. This snapshot includes a summary of the contents of each bill as it was introduced. We hope it will be a helpful reference for parents, advocates and policymakers.

Read here.


Hearing on the Attendance Accountability Amendment Act of 2013

DC Action for Children Executive Director HyeSook Chung testified on February 12 before the Committee of the Whole and the Committee on Education of the District of Columbia. Her testimony focused on five recommendations:

  • Take a preventive approach,
  • Use sound data,
  • Address absenteeism earlier,
  • Examine evidence from other jurisdictions, and
  • Consider capacity implications of this legislation.

Read her testimony here.

Behind the Scenes Impact

In January 2011, DC Action worked with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and Council Chairman Kwame Brown’s office to reconcile a critical discrepancy in existing family child care regulations. Newly revised regulations from OSSE would have allowed licensed child development homes to serve no more than five children under a 1970s law, whereas previous regulations under a different city agency had allowed them to serve up to six children, despite the law. DC Action interceded to ensure that the new regulations would be phased in, so that nearly 100 children and families would not lose critical child care overnight.

Read the analysis we prepared. 

Designed by: RED THINKING