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Director of Federal Programs and Strategic Funding

The Challenge & Opportunity

DC’s public education system, comprised of 200+ schools serving 90,000+ students, is on the rise – with more families choosing public schools and sustained gains in student achievement. DC has a vibrant and complex educational landscape with more than 60 local education agencies (LEAs) and engaged community partners. OSSE plays a leading role as the state education agency (SEA) within that landscape: setting high expectations; collecting and sharing actionable data; and building capacity within DC’s educational ecosystem.

However, we have much work to do – as an agency and as an education community. The achievement gap persists: while 86 percent of students in DC are Black and Hispanic, their achievement lags more than 50 percentage points behind their white peers in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment of English language arts and math. And while DC has seen sustained gains in student achievement overall, the achievement gap for at-risk students is growing. As a result, OSSE is committed to using its statewide levers, including funding and federal programs, to set and maintain high standards for program quality and high expectations for learners to drive toward excellence and equity.

We are looking for a Director to serve within the Division of Systems and Supports, K-12, who is passionate about supporting LEAs and schools to meet the needs of all students within the District of Columbia. We’re seeking an experienced leader of grant programs committed to leveraging funding to support LEAs to innovate and transform school practices. We are looking for someone with an unwavering belief that, with the right systems and supports, all students can experience success in school and in life.

This Director reports to the Assistant Superintendent of Systems and Supports, K-12.

What you will do

The specific functions of the job include:

Leadership and Strategy
Leverage federal grant programs to inspire innovation and lead to ensure strategic and impactful supports for at-risk students.

  • Provide leadership and direction to support strategic planning and successful implementation of OSSE’s federal grant programs, including Titles I-IV, School Improvement, and Charter School Finance and Support.
  • Lead a team to set standards for program quality in LEAs and schools – standards that reflect high expectations for learners and ensure that LEAs and schools are driving toward excellence and equity.
  • Work closely with the Assistant Superintendent of Systems and Supports, K-12, and fellow directors in the K-12 division to coordinate policy, funding, monitoring, and technical assistance efforts that support achievement and growth for all students.
  • Work closely with the Divisions of Data, Assessment, and Research (DAR) and Systems Technology (OIT) and the Office of Grants Management (OGM) to ensure that data processes and technology infrastructure address programmatic needs.

Program Management
Ensure OSSE provides high-quality programs that facilitate federal compliance and support for student learning.

  • Oversee OSSE’s federal grant programs, including Titles I-IV, School Improvement, Scholarships for Opportunity and Support (SOAR), Charter School Planning, and education stimulus programs.
  • Oversee OSSE’s Direct Loan and Credit Enhancement programs for charter school facilities.
  • Manage grant strategy and administration for +$100 million, including subgrantee applications and monitoring.
  • Manage the correction of grant noncompliance and sustainable programmatic improvement through grants monitoring and technical assistance.

Stakeholder Engagement
Engage stakeholders to create accessible and transparent funding that supports success for all students.

  • Work with key internal and external stakeholders to improve grant applications to facilitate high-quality program planning for LEAs and schools.
  • Support transparency and usability of funding guidelines, allocations, and awards through tools, training, and other resources that support communication with educators, families, and community partners.
  • Serve as the primary liaison for the agency with stakeholders on Title, School Improvement, and Charter School Finance and Support programs.

What you bring to OSSE

  • A proven track record in leading grant programs to achieve on-the-ground results.
  • Ability to use data and information to plan and act strategically to improve outcomes.
  • Knowledge of federal policy, programs, and requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
  • Passion for educational equity and a commitment to believing that all students can learn and achieve at high levels.
  • Experience in managing diverse teams to achieve ambitious goals.
  • Excellent interpersonal and collaboration skills, including stakeholder engagement facilitation.
  • [Preferred] Knowledge and understanding of the DC education landscape and the role of key entities, including OSSE as the state education agency.
  • [Preferred] Experience in teaching, school leadership, and/or LEA leadership.

Interested applicants should submit an application through the DCHR Careers site at careers.dc.gov, please reference Job ID #11505.