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School Hearing Leaves the Parent Out of Transparent?

DCPS took a beating from parents and school activists last year for lack of transparency in development of the 2008-09 budget. It was May before hard information on school allocations was posted on line. Advocates also had to fight off a proposal from Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to eliminate the legal requirement for annual hearings on the budget.

D.C. school stakeholders are getting their 2009-10 budget hearing on Tuesday, March 3, but it comes with less than a week's notice, and at a time and place that are not exactly parent-friendly: 9:15 a.m., in the auditorium of H.D. Woodson High School at Fletcher-Johnson, 4650 Benning Rd. S.E.

"Confounding," said a member of D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray's staff.

Notice of the hearing went out Feb. 25, six days in advance.

Mafara Hobson, Fenty's spokeswoman, said the notice was legal because it went out more than 15 days before Fenty's scheduled March 20 submission of the budget to the council. But the same section of the D.C. Code also requires 15 days public notice, which means it should have gone out last week.

In any event, those attending the meeting at Fletcher-Johnson can speak for three minutes (five minutes per organization or group). Those wishing to testify should contact Rebecca Katz in the office of the deputy mayor at or 202-724-6567 by 3 p.m. Monday.

By Bill Turque  |  February 28, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Bill Turque , Education  
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When Fenty's spokeswoman defended the late public notice of the school budget meeting, perhaps what she really meant is:

- Their lawyer said that they could get away with this, or

- They hoped no one would notice until it was too late to make much of a fuss, or

- They decided taking some heat upfront about the timing of the meeting would be better than taking heat from parents at the meeting if they had enough planning time to actually show up in great numbers.

Posted by: efavorite | February 28, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

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