Don’t dissolve the DC Council Committee on Education

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson

Every year the DC Council chairman creates and assigns committees to fellow councilmembers. Since 2012 the council has staffed a Committee on Education, cementing council leadership (and additional staff/resources) on education legislation and oversight.

As the pandemic continues and we approach 2021, it’s become clear that Chairman Phil Mendelson might dissolve the Committee on Education and fold it into his larger Committee of the Whole (which acts as catch-all committee for many city issues).

Next year especially, we should keep a stand-alone Committee on Education. Given this critical time, removing DC Council leadership, focus, and the resources/staffing that come with a stand-alone committee is the wrong move. Over a typical year, the staff of a stand-alone committee like this commit over 6,000 working hours to analysis, legislation, and listening to school communities. We know the Committee of the Whole staff simply can’t dedicate the same level of attention and time to education given their other ranging priorities.

Sign if you agree! Ask Chairman Mendelson today: Keep the Committee on Education.

Sponsored by

To: DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson
From: [Your Name]

Honorable Chairman Mendelson,

Thank you for leadership during this ongoing pandemic, and in particular for your work co-chairing the Committee on Education throughout 2020. Our school communities need as much attention, support, and analysis as possible during this time.

As you consider committee assignments for 2021, we, the undersigned, ask that you do not dissolve the Committee on Education.

We believe that the additional staff, resources, and council leadership that a stand-alone committee provides is incredibly important as our schools continue to grapple with the pandemic and its long lasting effects. We understand that in the past you have not granted freshmen Councilmembers leadership over their own committee until they have more experience, and that this year with a number of new councilmembers you are considering consolidating some committees to keep with that historical practice.

As you deliberate, we urge you to keep the Committee on Education in order to sustain the Council focus and staffing on education, as we have had for the past several years. We need continued Council leadership in Education in the days ahead.