The DC Council has announced that DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya “Henderson will brief Council Members on the final school consolidation plans” on Thursday, Jan 17. However, the Jan 10th edition of The Education Town Hall discussed evidence that school closings are unlikely to provide the District with substantial savings or educational benefit. DCPS, DC Councilmembers, the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor for Education all declined the opportunity to respond to this evidence, directly on the show or by statement.
Soumya Bhat, of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, and school finance expert Mary Levy reported some of their findings in the January Hill Rag and have since published a more complete report. The DCFPI study has also been highlighted by the Washington Post and the Examiner.
Observers of DC schools have long suggested that the proposed closings offer nothing of educational value, confirm a lack of progress in DCPS over the 5 years of mayoral control, and jeopardize DC’s system of neighborhood schools. Many question why school closings would be announced BEFORE the upcoming boundary adjustments. Meanwhile, new charter schools are opening this year and next in the District, while the Public Charter School Board is preparing to give fast-track approval to additional operators; additional tax dollars, as well as some properties, are thus heading for the less transparent system of privatized schooling.
When the Chancellor appears before the Council on Thursday, what do you — as a taxpayer and citizen — want your representative to demand in your name? What questions do you believe must be answered?
Call The Education Town Hall on Thursday, Jan. 17, between 11:00 a.m. and noon, to let your Councilmembers know what you expect of them. 202-889-9797. You may also send emails in advance for inclusion in the show. Email Thomas.Byrd at yahoo.com.
The Education Town Hall will convey all responses to the Council before the briefing begins.
Listen live via internet, http://www.WeActRadio.com, or at 1480 AM (DC area).
The motto of We Act Radio is “Do something.”
Inform yourself. Speak up. Demand answers.