Mark David Richards
Council Period 12
Council Period 13
Council Period 14
Government and People
Anacostia Waterfront Corporation
Boards and Com
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Management Officer
Elections and Ethics
Housing and Community Dev.
Capital Revitalization Corp.
Planning and Econ. Dev.
Planning, Office of
Public Service Commission
Regional Mobility Panel
Sports and Entertainment Com.
University of DC
Water and Sewer Administration
Youth Rehabilitation Services
Issues in DC Politics
DC General, PBC
Public Benefit Corporation
Tax Rev Comm
Term limits repeal
Voting rights, statehood
Williams’s Fundraising Scandals
Cardozo Shaw Neigh.Assoc.
Committee of 100
Fed of Citizens Assocs
League of Women Voters
What Is DCWatch?
PAULA R. PERELMAN
1985-Present, Attorney, D.C. Public Schools (DCPS)
1999-Present, As Executive Director of Special Education Mediation and
- Address, verbally and in writing, inquiries from a wide variety of
sources concerning federal and District law, regulations, and
procedures regarding special education.
- Ensure DCPS’ compliance with hearing officers’ determinations
and settlement agreements issued and executed in resolution of hearing
requests filed by parents or guardians of District children with
disabilities alleging violations of the Individuals With Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA) on the part of DCPS.
- File hearing requests against parents and guardians of District
children with disabilities when necessary to ensure the provision of
FAPE to such children and assist in the representation of DCPS at the
- Review and approve, as appropriate, the bills of attorneys who
prevail against DCPS in actions brought under the IDEA.
- Draft proposed legislation, regulations and procedures regarding
special education in the District.
- Ensure that the DCPS mediation program is run efficiently and
effectively, consistent with all applicable law and regulations.
1998-1999, As Counsel for Policy and Planning
- Rendered legal advice and services with respect to questions,
practices, directives, rules, regulations and laws pertaining to DCPS.
- Prepared interpretative and administrative orders, directives,
rules, and regulations and/or proposed legislation to give effect to
the policies of the Superintendent or to the provisions of governing
District or federal legislation which impact on DCPS operations.
- Reviewed, in detail, DCPS administrative procedures and directives
and recommended changes if necessary to ensure legal compliance and/or
consistency with DCPS policy; wrote and/or reviewed amended procedures
or directives, as required.
- Monitored proposed regulations and legislation, on the District and
federal levels, and identified new or amended regulations or acts that
required implementation by DCPS; ensured that implementing policies
and procedures were consistent with the intent of the governing
regulations or law and were administratively sound, efficient, and
economical in operation.
1996-1998, As General Counsel and Chief of Staff for the Emergency
Transitional Education Board of Trustees
- Provided internal legal services to the Emergency Transitional
Education Board of Trustees, including, but are not limited to,
drafting all rules approved by the Trustees, the Control Board and
other District and federal agencies and/or certifying that they were
legally sufficient; acted as liaison with outside counsel for the
Trustees, and provided legal counsel to the Trustees on all Trustee
- Monitored and updated legal research and maintained expertise in the
area of educational and administrative laws; provided support and
briefings to the Trustees on matters of policy-making to ensure
consistency with federal and D.C. laws and regulations, particularly
Title 5 of the D.C. Municipal Regulations (Board Rules); assisted the
Trustees in the rulemaking process and assumed overall responsibility
for maintaining, publishing, and updating the Board Rules.
- Maintained continuous awareness of Congressional and City Council
activities, as well as court decisions, with respect to legal matters
that impacted on the Trustees and DCPS; kept the Trustees apprised of
the Control Board’s actions to assure that they conformed with the
position of the Trustees and school system; accompanied Trustees to
meetings of the Congress, City Council, Mayor, and Control Board when
proposed issues or legislation on various school policy matters
required Trustee awareness, input or interpretation.
- Handled all litigation and administrative hearings involving the
Trustees, through pro bono counsel and/or counsel for the Control
Board, including advance preparation of all foreseeable data required
for litigation and administrative proceedings and representation of
the Trustees or arranging for such representation in court or
- Prepared legal memoranda and opinions, as required by the Trustees;
provided day-to-day legal services essential to the operation of the
Trustees, to include providing requested parliamentary and procedural
advice and preparing D.C. legislation.
1985-1996, As Legislative Counsel and Staff Attorney
- Reviewed Congressional and D.C. City Council legislation which would
impact DCPS; developed the School System’s position on such
legislation and drafted comments or testimony; presented the testimony
and/or lobbied Congress and the Council.
- Reviewed federal and local laws and regulations impacting DCPS;
prepared rules, orders, and directives implementing these laws and
- Drafted proposed rules, legislation, and supporting documents for
the D.C. Board of Education and the Superintendent.
- Monitored enactment by the D.C. City Council and Congress of DCPS’
annual budget; lobbied Congress and the Council, prepared testimony
for the Board of Education President and the Superintendent, attended
Council and Congressional budget hearings and responded to legal
questions raised in the hearings.
- Researched such subjects as education of the handicapped, copyright
laws, procurement, the First Amendment, labor law, search and seizure,
privacy, Equal Employment Opportunity law and regulations, and
collective bargaining; provided written and oral guidance on these
topics to the Board of Education and school system employees, parents,
students and the public.
- Represented DCPS in litigation, sometimes in conjunction with the
D.C. Corporation Counsel, and in administrative hearings; prepared
briefs, motions, and other legal documents.
- Negotiated, drafted, and reviewed DCPS contracts, including school
- Responded to correspondence regarding legal and legislative matters
received by the Board of Education or the Superintendent.
1983-1985, Pierson, Ball & Dowd Washington, DC, Associate
- Drafted memoranda on a wide variety of broadcast and labor-related
issues of law and regulatory matters.
- Drafted and prepared interrogatories and exhibits; supervised
document production for broadcast hearings before the FCC; prepared
witnesses and cross-examined parties at hearings.
- Interviewed and counseled firm clients; maintained close contact
with clients throughout disposition of cases.
- Drafted agreements, motions and other legal documents; drafted
correspondence to federal agencies on behalf of clients involved in
administrative and regulatory matters, including Freedom of
Information Act requests.
- Provided general legal research in broadcast, labor, and
1977-1980, The Brentwood School Los Angeles, CA, Teacher
- Taught English to secondary school students; monitored progress of
each student and wrote periodic reports; assisted students with
problem areas and special projects.
Cornell Law School Ithaca, NY
- J.D. received 1983.
- Admitted to D.C. Bar –1983.
- Recipient-George O. Bogert Scholarship.
Stanford University Stanford, CA
- M.A. –English Education- received 1977.
Swarthmore College Swarthmore, PA
- B.A.- English Literature- received 1976.
- Winner- Martha E. Tyson Fellowship for Graduate Study.
With T. Timothy Ryan, Jr., "Post-Norris Ambiguities: Unanswered
Questions for Women and the Pension Industry," Akron Law Review,
Furnished Upon Request.