The Rumi Forum presented “The State of Public Education and its Future” with Kevin P. Chavous, Distinguished Fellow, Center for Education Reform and former Member of the Council of the D.C.
Kevin P. Chavous is a noted attorney, author and national school reform leader. As a former member of the Council of the District of Columbia and Chair of the Council’s Education Committee, Mr. Chavous was at the forefront of promoting change within the District public school system. His efforts led to over 500 million new dollars being made available to educate children in DC. A leading national advocate for school choice, Mr. Chavous helped to shepherd the charter school movement into the nation’s capital. Under his education committee chairmanship, the DC charter school movement became the most prolific charter school jurisdiction in the country, with over 20% of DC’s public school children attending charter schools. In addition, Mr. Chavous assisted in shaping the District’s three sector education partnership with the federal government. That partnership led to fifty million new federal dollars for DC public schools, DC charter schools and it funded the first federal scholarship program to allow 2,000 low income children to attend private schools. Since leaving the Council, Mr. Chavous has emerged as one of the nation’s most respected and influential education reform leaders. He is a Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Education Reform and serves on the board of the Black Alliance for Educational Options. He also is a co-founder and Chair of Democrats for Education Reform and a founding member of the Education Equality Project. More recently, Mr. Chavous led the team working with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal that advocated for the recently passed scholarship program in New Orleans. As a result of that legislation, nearly 1,000 students are now attending private schools of their choice in the New Orleans parish. An early supporter of Barack Obama, Mr. Chavous served as a member on the Education Policy Committee of the Obama Presidential Campaign. Mr. Chavous is a partner at the law firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP.