Bowser Responds to ANC6A Parents Asking Restoration of School Budget Cuts

Mayor Bowser last Thursday night at ANC6A

Mayor Bowser last Thursday night at ANC6A

The Mayor's appearance sparked a heavy turnout - many among the crowd were parents concerned about school budget cuts

The Mayor’s appearance sparked a heavy turnout – many among the crowd were parents concerned about school budget cuts

Bowser Responds to ANC6A Parents Asking Restoration of School Budget Cuts

by Larry Janezich

Last Thursday night, concerned parents in ANC6A  – some with children in tow – pleaded with  Mayor Bowser to restore $12 million in cuts from her education budget, citing neighborhood schools without sprinkling systems, doors on class rooms that do not lock, outdated video monitoring systems and deplorable bathroom conditions.  DC Board of Education Ward 6 representative Joe Weedon subsequently posted photos from Eliot Hine to Twitter to illustrate conditions.

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 9.08.27 AM

Bowser replied that the city needs to finish modernization of schools which have already been started as well as construct new middle schools in Wards 5 and 7.  She said, “The city cannot modernize all schools at once.”  The question, she said, was one of priorities, with the top priority being to finish projects underway, then prioritize by utilization rate: “It can’t be ‘us not them’ – I don’t want the conversation to be about a tradeoff between schools.  We have to worry about all wards, not just six.”

She said she would be truthful regarding what we can do with the schools – “We can’t put school funding in the budget only to have to shift it in October“ [the end of the fiscal year].  She implied that the final decision would be up to the City Council:  “If City Council wants to move things around – I still would not support shifting money within the school system.  Maybe we don’t want $50 million to go to parks and instead put that into schools.”

Yesterday, Bowser toured Elliot-Hine School, cited by parents as badly needing upgrades, with her Deputy Mayor for Education, Councilmember Charles Allen, and some of the parents who raised the modernization issue at last Thursday night’s meeting.

Mayor Bowser, Councilmember Allen, Deputy Mayor for Education, and others tour Eliot Hine on Wednesday.

Mayor Bowser, Councilmember Allen, Deputy Mayor for Education, and others tour Eliot Hine on Wednesday. Photo credit – Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education.

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

5 responses to “Bowser Responds to ANC6A Parents Asking Restoration of School Budget Cuts

  1. Kathleen

    i very much support Muriel Bowser’s contention that we can’t pick winners and losers between and among students enrolled in DC schools.
    but if i’m told there’s not enough money to fix these problems in Ward 6 in the school budget, i want the mayor to know that there’s a lot of spending her budget that i would eliminate before i even looked at the parks.

    • DCFYI

      Really? Because that is exactly what Mayor Bowser is doing. I don’t have a vested interest in her decision because my kids both attend YuYing, but even so I’m going hold her accountable at the ballot box. Looking forward to the next Mayoral election. I predict Bowser will be a one-term mayor.

  2. DCFYI

    Bowser needs to go. Last I knew the city had a budget surplus, and yet she is cutting 12mil from DCPCS. I think she’s playing to political bace, rather than trying to manage for the entire city .

  3. Tom

    I didn’t expect that in a city with so much growth, so much increase in real estate value, that our new Mayor would suggest cutting spending to fix schools, or to support schools in other ways.

  4. Keith and Gayle

    Indeed my taxes have done up dramatically in 3 years and I want that to go to schools in my neighborhood. Also can we can please get rid of the metal mesh covering the windows of Eliot Hine? It looks more like a jail than a school. It should be given the same treatment as Eastern High IMO, or bulldozed and rebuilt.