Dear Washingtonians –
This morning, DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson and I announced that she will be leaving her role on September 30, 2016. I am incredibly grateful to Kaya for her nine years of service to our students, our schools, and our city.
Without a doubt, DCPS is a very different place today than it was when Kaya joined our school system in 2007. DCPS is the fastest improving urban school district in the country. After decades of decline, DCPS has also seen consistent, annual enrollment growth since Kaya became Chancellor—growing from 45,000 students in 2010 to nearly 49,000 students this year. While we will miss Kaya, we can all be proud of her team and her tenure as the second longest-serving leader of DCPS.
This is also an incredible opportunity for our city to continue to improve how we are delivering high-quality education to our students. I remain committed to pushing the envelope even further on education reform. That’s why this year we made the largest investment in public education in our city’s history – with a $75 million increase over last year to meet the needs of our growing student body. That means more funding for instruction, and focused programming in both our traditional public schools and our public charter schools. We are also investing $220 million more city funds to accelerate the full modernization of schools.
Over the next several months, we will work hard to ensure a smooth transition. I am pleased to announce that John Davis will serve as Interim Chancellor. With his extensive experience as an education leader, most recently as DCPS’ Chief of Schools, I am confident that John is the right person for this role. We will launch a nationwide search in the fall and follow the selection process outlined in the law as we determine a permanent Chancellor for next school year. Please stay tuned for additional information on opportunities to engage with us on the selection of the next Chancellor.
In closing, I want to reiterate how thankful I am for Kaya’s service to our city and her steadfast resolve to improve education for all of our students.
P.S. Join the #ThankYouKaya Facebook group to share your memories and wish her well.