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Compromise Hammered Out on School Board Hires

The State Board of Education will have the authority to hire three staffers selected from a list given to members by the superintendent under a compromise hammered out by D.C. Council members Monday.

The education board, stripped of most of its power after the mayoral takeover in 2007, would have been given more autonomy through language and a budget boost added to the budget support act by the council.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) used his veto power, and Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) appeared poised to override it. But on Friday and over the weekend, schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee lobbied council members. Fenty said in an earlier interview that Rhee did not believe a more powerful education board was the way to run the school district.

By Monday, council members Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large), David A. Catania (I-At Large) and Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) had come up with the compromise. The mayor's administration, D.C. Wire is told, has signed off.

"It basically gives latitude and lets everyone walk away with what they want," one council member said.

The council is expected to vote Tuesday.

-- Nikita Stewart and Tim Craig

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 21, 2009; 6:27 PM ET
Categories:  City Life , D.C. Council , Education , Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart , Tim Craig  
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Ok if I read this correctly, they get to hire three people, not of their choosing but from a list given to them by the Superintendent, whose boss is the Deputy Mayor of Education, whose boss is the mayor. So basically, the hirees comes from the mayor. What a compromise.

Posted by: candycane1 | September 21, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Someone please tell me how the ability to hire three people (chosen by your oppressor) is equivalent to having more autonomy. This is one of the most inept councils I've ever experienced. DC is a laughingstock, non-pareil.

Posted by: schooletal | September 21, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The State Board of Education will have the authority to hire three staffers selected from a list given to members by the superintendent under a compromise hammered out by D.C. Council members Monday.

Am I missing something here? When the Council walked in the door the board was being held hostage by the Mayor in that an elected school board was subject to the pleasure of his appointee in any/all decisions requiring financial expenditure. (i.e. hiring, day to day spending, etc.). So, if they don't have the latitude after the Mayor and Chancellor's political extortion on Monday, nothing has changed. Allowing the Superintendent (another appointee) give the board a "short list" of whom they can hire changes NOTHING.

District Electorate:

This is your council playing you for a fool. At your earliest opportunity you need to replace them with a body that is not afraid of the power of the executive, or worse, vulnerable to quit pro quo political extortion that sacrifices the will of the people.

I'll do my part and vote against this Mayor and all those up for re-election at large and in my ward that support this circumcision of the public will.

Let's take our Council back. Just think about it, 4 more years of this incompetence. NO thank you.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 22, 2009 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Throw the rascals out!!! The DC Council is the absolute worst! Where is Kathy Patterson at?!

Posted by: hrhjcg | September 22, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

The entire DC Council needs to be replaced. They are a group who fears and are held hostage by Fenty and Rhee. They seem to be incapable of doing the right thing. It's almost like them being on the school yard and running from Rhee at every turn. Although the Council is supposed an arm of the government, Rhee consistently disrespects them and does exactly what she wants to do. They are, as stated by concernedaboutdc, incompetent, useless, a laughingstock and they need to be voted out with a pull of a lever.

Posted by: southyrndiva | September 22, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

And it is Rhee's thinking that makes the city's schools bite as they do now. So much for her inexperienced, novice, uncredentialed thoughts.

Posted by: southyrndiva | September 22, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I hope everyone comes to the rally, Thursday, Sept. 24, 4:30 p.m., at 825 North Capitol. Parents, teachers, community activists, and students will be rising up to make our displeased voices heard about the hijacking/undermining of public education by rhee and those of her ilk!

Posted by: schooletal | September 22, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

The Council was more upset about not getting tickets to the Nationals games! Keep backing down and soon you'll be backed up against a wall - by the citizens as well as the mayor.

Posted by: verumputo | September 22, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

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