DC’s Attorney General Offers a Variety of Explanations for Having No Opinion

As Jonetta Rose Barras reported earlier this week, education activist Peter MacPherson inquired of DC’s Attorney General, Irvin Nathan, if DCPS declaring more than half its schools ineligible for certain resources — such as full-time librarians and art teachers — was legal:

“This fall 61.4 percent of schools in DCPS would be classified as small under [the] new definition,” wrote MacPherson, adding that would mean large numbers of students “would be denied parity of academic opportunity.” He said he thought unequal allocation of resources would violate Title V of the DC Code of Municipal Regulation. “I think the practice may be illegal under federal law as well.”

“Our office does not render legal opinions to private citizens,” Nathan responded, suggesting his office was prohibited from providing such a service.

However, when asked if the Attorney General’s office would like to elaborate on that position when The Education Town Hall discussed this topic, the Public Information Officer told host Thomas Byrd:

Mr. Byrd – on behalf of Attorney General Nathan, we are declining your request to take part in your program. We generally don’t comment out of court on pending cases. thanks,

The Education Town Hall neglected to read this statement during the on-air discussion on May 2. Without have seen it, though, Deborah Simmons, in-studio on May 2, mentioned how often this has been the AG’s position in the past.

The Education Town Hall apologizes for omitting the AG’s statement. But we do appreciate knowing that the small school determination is, apparently, relevant to the school closings case… the closings were enacted, we were told, as a means of providing more resources to remaining schools.

The Town Hall is even more delighted to learn that at least one listener was inspired by the May 2 show to follow We Act Radio’s motto, “Do something!” and decided to write her own letter, this time to a federal official.

Full recording of May 2, 2013 edition of The Education Town Hall, broadcast on We Act Radio (WPWC 1480 AM in DC, http://www.WeActRadio.com).

Listen live on Thursdays at 11 a.m. (EDT) on http://www.WeActRadio.com
full recordings archived for later discussion and sharing
look for more information on The Education Town Hall’s blog.

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