January 8, 2019

Joshua Fleitman: (Office) 202-724-8191, (Mobile) 202-294-2506,

Todd Champions New Education Programs At First Meeting Of Council Period 23

Legislation Would Expand Dual Language Immersion Programs, Provide Tuition-Free Community College at UDC-CC
& Support Better Use of Technology In Elementary Classrooms

Washington, DC – Today, Councilmember Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) introduced three bills that are aimed at improving quality, access, and innovation in the District’s education system.

The “Dual Language Immersion Accelerator Program Amendment Act of 2019” would add eight dual language programs to the 19 currently offered in the District. These additional programs would be available for parents to choose from in the December 2019 My School DC Lottery for the 2020-2021 school year. Additionally, the bill requires the Mayor to create a road-map to triple the number of dual language immersion seats available by 2025. States such as Utah, Delaware, California, and North Carolina, and cities like New York and Portland have already implemented similar initiatives. This legislation was co-introduced by Councilmembers Cheh, Nadeau, Allen, Grosso, McDuffie, Robert White, and Bonds.

“Everywhere I go across Ward 4 and the District, parents tell me that they want more options for dual language immersion, because they are consistently frustrated by the long waitlist and limited availability,” said Councilmember Todd. “We live in a globalized information age, where there are tremendous opportunities for those who can analyze, collaborate, and communicate in a variety of languages. Investments in dual language immersion programs serve not only as workforce development, but also to boost critical skills such as cultural competency, reading, writing, and cognition.”

Councilmember Todd also introduced the “District Promise Scholarship Program Amendment Act of 2019,” which would create a scholarship that offers free community college tuition for eligible students of the University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC-CC). Under this bill, the District would join the 17 other states that offer tuition-free community colleges. The legislation was co-introduced by Councilmembers Bonds, McDuffie, Grosso, Nadeau, Trayon White, and Robert White.

“Every student in the District deserves a quality education and a chance at earning a college degree, no matter their financial background,” said Councilmember Todd. “Studies show that students who graduate from community college have lower rates of unemployment and earn $6,600 more per year than those who have only a high school diploma. As the economy increasingly demands more advanced education from the workforce, our government must expand access to higher education to bring new opportunity to the next generation.”

Finally, Councilmember Todd introduced the “Classroom Innovation Grant Program Act of 2019.” This legislation would establish a grant program administered by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education that expands access to technology and enhances elementary students’ classroom learning experience. The grant program would provide non-taxable grants to DC public and public charter elementary schools to develop teacher training modules, better integrate technology into education, and create an online, digital curriculum. The legislation was co-introduced by Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Robert White.

“Over the past year, I have toured every Ward 4 public school, and I was struck by a recurring theme: the lack of funding for technology upgrades and applications,” said Councilmember Todd. “ If teachers are able to access virtual information, learn how to tailor it to the needs of their students, and then integrate it into their classroom, it will provide children with the utmost opportunity to reach their full potential.”


Council of the District of Columbia | John A. Wilson Building |1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, DC 20004