Code of the District of Columbia

§ 38–351. Office of Ombudsman for Public Education; establishment; term.

(a) There is established within the State Board of Education an Office of Ombudsman for Public Education ("Office"), which shall be headed by an ombudsman appointed by the State Board of Education.

(b)(1) The Ombudsman shall be a District resident within 180 days of appointment.

(2) The Ombudsman shall serve for a term of 5 years, and may be reappointed.

(3) After notice and an opportunity to be heard, the Ombudsman may be removed only for cause that relates to the Ombudsman’s character or efficiency by a 2/3 vote of the State Board of Education.

(c) If a vacancy in the position of ombudsman occurs as a consequence of resignation, disability, death, or other reasons other than the expiration of the term, the State Board of Education shall appoint an ombudsman to fill the unexpired term within 75 days of the occurrence of the vacancy.

(d) The purpose of the Ombudsman is to serve as a neutral resource for current and prospective public school students and their parents or guardians in the resolution of complaints and concerns regarding public educationin a way that, in the opinion of the Office, furthers students' best interests.

(d-1) The Ombudsman shall serve as the exclusive personnel authority for employees of the Office, and may hire staff to support the Office's operations consistent with the Office's budget.

(d-2) The Ombudsman shall have exclusive authority to administer the Office's budget, subject to the oversight of the State Board of Education to ensure compliance with District law.

(e) For the purposes of this chapter, the term “public school” means District of Columbia Public Schools and public charter schools in the District of Columbia.