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Introducing the Work Order Integrity Act to Improve School Repairs

Today Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George and every member of the Council reintroduced the Work Order Integrity Amendment Act of 2023, legislation to require a school-level staff member (like a foreman, operations director, or principal) to give affirmative approval before a work order ticket for repairs or maintenance in a school can be closed. This bill will improve school maintenance and communication between DGS, DCPS, and our schools.

“All of our students deserve safe and comfortable learning environments. Principals and school staff know their buildings better than anyone, and we need to empower them to ensure that repairs and maintenance in their schools are actually being done and done right.”

Councilmember Lewis George

When a school has a maintenance problem in one of its buildings, staff submits a work order to DGS so the necessary repairs can be made. DGS contractors sometimes mark work orders as complete without fixing the underlying issue or communicating the outcome of their work with the school. This causes long delays where the school assumes a repair is in the process of being made, but DGS considers it complete and takes no further action. These discrepancies contribute to serious maintenance issues in DCPS schools that frustrate school communities and disrupt student learning. DCPS has also not provided clear answers about how school staff are engaged on the completion of work orders in their school buildings.

This bill seeks to address issues that came up persistently in Councilmember Lewis George’s Ward 4 school readiness tours in 2021 and 2022, conversations with educators and parents, and performance oversight hearings with community members and DGS officials that took place earlier this month. This bill is co-introduced by Chairman Phil Mendelson and Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau, Vincent Gray, Charles Allen, Trayon White, Brooke Pinto, Matthew Frumin, Robert White, Zachary Parker, Christina Henderson, Anita Bonds, and Kenyan McDuffie.