Fenty to Address Summer Jobs Program Meltdown
Mayor Adrian Fenty returns from a week-long personal trip to Beijing late tonight, then is scheduled to speak to reporters at a 3 p.m. news conference Tuesday about the ongoing problems with the city's Summer Youth Employment Program. Mayoral aides said he will release the findings of an internal investigation by his office into what led to the payroll problems and the $31 million budget overrun. Though one answer is almost certainly the higher-than-expected enrollment of more than 21,000 students, Fenty administration officials have said the problems are widespread, including sloppy registration, slowness in getting contracts in place with employers and sending students to the wrong job sites.
One question is whether Summer Spencer, director of the Department of Employment Services, which oversees the jobs program, will be with the mayor at the news conference. As of today, she is scheduled to appear, though her future could be shaky in the wake of the meltdown, considering Fenty's track record in dealing with agency heads whose departments have well-publicized setbacks. (Spencer has not been allowed by the administration to speak to the media since the jobs program problems became public last month.)
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