No Charters for Kids of Board Vice-Chair
Brian W. Jones, vice chairman of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, was finishing up his testimony at the D.C. Council's confirmation hearing today for an old friend and colleague, Kerri L. Briggs, the Acting State Superintendent for Education, when he mentioned that he was the father of two school age children.
Where do they go to school? Chairman Vincent C. Gray asked.
It turns out that Jones' kids are finishing up kindergarten and third grade not at one of the District's 59 public charter schools but at Maret, the posh Woodley Park private school.
Jones, a former general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education, is part of a lengthy list of public officials, from President Obama to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, who have opted for private schools for their children. He acknowledged there was something a bit awkward about his position on the board and his choice of schools.
"I do aspire to get them into charter schools," he said, but only after getting them off to the best possible start.
"We didn't want to take any chances," said Jones.
He added that while at the Education Department he was "present at the creation" of the D.C. voucher program, which was proposed to then-Secretary Rod Paige by then-Mayor Anthony Williams and charter activist Kevin Chavous.
"I think it's important that low-income families in the city have an array of effective options for their kids' education like I have," Jones said.
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