Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Fenty wants 7-day extension on summer jobs

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty is pushing to extend this year's six-week Summer Youth Employment Program by seven business days, but he needs Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray's help to approve the change.

Initially designed by former mayor Marion Barry in the late 1970s, the city's summer jobs program places thousands of city youths with local business or city agencies to give them a paycheck and something to do after the school year has ended.

After taking office in 2007, Fenty expanded the program from six weeks to 10 weeks, but costs soared. In 2008, it went more than $30 million over budget, paying some youths who did not work or were ineligible for the program, including more than 200 who were not District residents.

Last year, the council pared back this summer's program to six-weeks to try to save money and improve efficiency.

The program, which serves nearly 20,000 youths, is slated to end Aug. 6. But the Fenty administration is asking the council to approve legislation to authorize a new end date of Aug. 17.

Joseph P. Walsh, director of the Department of Employment Services, sent Gray a letter today asking to support legislation authorizing the extension when the council meets Thursday afternoon to take up Togo West's nomination to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.

"The Summer Youth Employment Program has always been a tremendously important investment in the District's future," Walsh wrote. "And in difficult times, it is more important than ever to offer our youth the opportunity to work and gain valuable job-readiness skills that they can succeed in life."

Walsh said the administration has secured one-time federal money from President Obama's stimulus bill to pay for the extension. Despite some initial confusion over job placements, there have been relatively few complaints from parents or students about the program this year.

But administration officials say Gray, who is running against Fenty in the mayor's race, has not responded to Walsh's urgent request to schedule a vote on the legislation.

A Gray spokeswoman was not immediately available to comment. Gray, however, told labor leaders at a fundraiser Tuesday night that he thinks the summer youth employment program is "poorly run."

if Gray doesn't allow the program to be extended, Fenty will be able to tell the parents of 20,000 teenagers that the council denied their son or daughter an extra week's pay -- compliments of President Obama.

-- Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  July 29, 2010; 9:10 AM ET
Categories:  Budget , Marion Barry , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig , Vincent C. Gray , vincent gray  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wild night of politics in Ward 6
Next: Fenty campaign challenges independent Gray fundraising

Comments

Let's not use the youth as pawns in this political season. If it doesn't cost the District and more money then extend it. However, when I was growing up, no city or local government gave me a job. I got my butt off the couch and went to the local mall and filled out job applications and got a job myself. It would be interesting to see how many of these youth we give jobs to and pay them for 6-8 weeks every summer actually become productive members of society.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | July 29, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Urban Dweller stated the below:

Let's not use the youth as pawns in this political season.

I agree totally with your statement. Fenty is trying everything he can to get votes, but at this point it won't work. People are ready to vote now.

But the below comment I don't agree with.

You said:

However, when I was growing up, no city or local government gave me a job. I got my butt off the couch and went to the local mall and filled out job applications and got a job myself. It would be interesting to see how many of these youth we give jobs to and pay them for 6-8 weeks every summer actually become productive members of society.

I say: It depends on where you lived. I am now 61 years old and a native Washingtonian. When I was coming up i DC, they had a program called "the stay-in-school program. You would work at different government agencies while staying in school. If you did not stay in school, then you were not able to work.

I took advantage of that program and have worked at several government agencies and in private sector. It helped me. So think positive that a lot of students are going to get something out of it. I personally think it is a very nice thing to do to give them the chance to know what it is like to work. This is my grandson's second year working. He faithfully goes to work everyday and saves his money towards the things that he wants. Our plans for him is to go to MIT next summer for their intern program. So my suggestion to you is to keep positive thoughts in your mind for these kids.

I have learned thoughout life that we are not going to be able save everyone. Let's say if we save 2 out of 10, then that's 2 less that is going to be killing, robbing, etc.

This is the only money that some of these kids get all year. Thanks

Posted by: samvped205 | July 29, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

How is Fenty going to extend this program beyond August 6 when DCPS teachers report back to school on August 16.

This is a political ploy by a desperate man.

Gray - vote to extend the program and watch the students who are already sitting in schools doing nothing continue to get paid for not doing anything of substance.

I dare anyone to visit Hines on the hill and talk to the workers there who spend their day in the auditorium of the building.

Summer school ends on the 6 and most so-called career path jobs will end as well. How can bozo Fenty make this decision without checking with the adults working in these programs?

Posted by: dccounselor72 | July 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

So the stimulus money can only be used for the Summer Youth Program or any number of things? Where's the proof? And the stimulus bill was passed age ago, how are we just now discovering that there's extra money for Summer Youth? This is a sad and sloopy policital tactic on Fenty's part, which is not surprising at all.

Posted by: cinthecity | July 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

to samv: Congrats on your grandson's success in the summer jobs program. Based on what you said, it's not that program which saved him and will send him on his way to MIT. It's caring grandparents like you who instilled values and hard work in him and taught him the value of an education. As a DCPS teacher, we need far more parents and grandparents like you in DCPS. It would make a huge difference in the lives of our students. Nothing impacts a child's education like a nurturing home environment where education is valued and parents hold their children accountable for engaging their studies. Kudos to you! You're an example to others.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | July 29, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

UrbanDweller: Thanks for your compliments.

It's not just me but it is my brother-in-law who has pretty much raised my grandson from an infant to where he is now. I thank God for him everyday. He makes sure that he does what he suppose to do in school and his mother, his father, me and his two brothers keeps him on the right track which isn't hard because he is good at doing it all by himself. If him and his brothers are beefing, my brother-in-law calls a meeting. When the meeting is over, they hug and kiss.

My two other grandsons 1) 24 and the other 21) are also good kids. I have finally convinced my 21 year old grandson to go to college and get a BA and then a MA and so on. After discussing this with him for about 2 years, he finally called me and said grandma would you mind going with me to register for college. We went on Tuesday and we are now enrolling him for the fall.

My daughter raised my grandsons in the quote on quote "getto." They are African American males and have never been in trouble. They do not use drug and at the present time, they do not have kids and don't want them until they are able to take care of them. They are responsible, respectable, mannerable and so forth. My daughter did not raise them to be materialistic and to this day, they don't have to have name brand things. I thank God everything and share my story with anyone who wants to hear about positive young African American males.

They know better than to go around with their pants hanging off their butts. Not only me, but my son, my brother-in-law and my daughter would just look at them and they know the drill.

I was raised that it takes a village to raise a child.

Are they perfect, no way. I am not perfect either. In my youth, I have done things that I am not proud of. I learned from my mistakes.

I try to instill in my children and my grandchildren about the important things of life because I had to learn them.

My daily pray is that my grandsons will continue to be the young men that they are and not associate themselves with people who get into trouble. So far, its working. My grandson talk to us about anything such as sex, school, friends and anything else they want to know. We are not embrassed to hear some of the things that they discuss with us.

We know where they are at all times. Praise God!

I am in college at 61 and work a full time job and love every bit of it. They have always seen me work hard. My daughter suffers from severe depression but have always been there for her sons. I often tell her what a good job she has done and she should be so proud of her sons.

I know that my help comes from God and I will continue to ask directions from him especially when it comes to my grandsons.

Pray for us that I will continue to nuture and love my grandson and help to set their foot on the right path.

Thanks

Posted by: samvped205 | July 29, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I think Fenty's fraternity should donate the money to pay for the extra 7 days.

Posted by: lipschitzantwon | July 29, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

to samv: That's a great life story. I wish you would go around to schools in DC and talk to kids AND parents about what it takes to be an effective parent/grandparent. They need to hear it.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | July 29, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

UrbanDweller: I can't promise, but I would love to. Have a great weekend.

Posted by: samvped205 | July 29, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

This is how Fenty has managed the budget all along. He makes an expenditure or a promise, knowing that not enough funds are budgeted, and then the Council has to agree to approve the funding or risk looking like bad guys! The Council has the power of the purse strings. That is just about the only real power they have. I think they should reject this tactic and stand up for themselves. The Council only funded 6 weeks, which means they only wanted 6 weeks. I am fine with the summer youth employment program. My son participated in it when he was younger and I don't he would have worked without it(having too much fun playing video games). So I'm all for the program, but it has to stay within budget.

Posted by: tacard1 | July 29, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Political ploy by Fenty to win back the Black vote.

Posted by: oknow1 | July 29, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

King Fenty will soon be kicked out of his Kingdom soon (Wilson Building). Adrian has been seen walking in many neighborhoods in Ward 4 trying to get Ward 4 residents to change their minds or negative opinions about him. Fenty is hated by most in Ward 4. When you lay down with dogs King Fenty, you will get up with fleas.

Posted by: Ward4DC | July 29, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

FENTY YOUR A LOSER AND U KNOW UR A S S IS OUT

Posted by: JeroRobson1 | July 29, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Again, the summer job program was a benefit that many enjoyed in the past. It helped many of us...who are now approaching 50 years of age...when working every summer starting at age 14 until 21...it gave the much needed quarters for social-security. It also helps with the years toward my retirement from my good federal job. Yeah, during the old-days...your summer job would begin one week after school close and would end the friday before school opened for the fall.

Also, it could have matured into what many call now internships. How many out there in DC remember when high-school students had half-day schedules or late arrivals for which it was nothing but to continue with the carry-over jobs from the summer.

So, to those who think that the summer job was some type welfare or hand-out system. I beg to differ...

Posted by: PowerandPride | July 29, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

dccounselor... did you take your ensure today? Extending the summer program does not affect the students in regards to teachers returning on August 16. School doesn't start until August 23 for the students. Help me out here...didn't you get RIF from McKinley...could it have been because you were factually ineffective.

As for Hines...newsflash, it has been closed for years. Therefore, again if the summer job program is extended it will not affect the school...as it is a worksite and not a functional school. Lord help her!!!

Why not extend it...isn't the schedule beautification day for DCPS on August 21...all the preliminary work can be done that week by the summer youth...so the guilt-ridden volunteers can work on that Saturday.

Posted by: PowerandPride | July 29, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

PowerandPride: I remember those days. I was also a part of the stay-in-school program. It was nice then.

Posted by: samvped205 | July 29, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

PowerandPride

News Flash - Many teachers are working the Career Pathways program which is part of DCPS and SYEP program. This program is housed in the schools and students enrolled in summer school are paid for taking part in the CP class. Check with Rhee and company to get your facts straight.

Also, Hines may be closed but summer employees are housed in the building. I know several young people assigned to the building and spend their days in the auditorium.

Take your head out of Rhee's butt and check out the facts.

I am not the counselor from McKinley but thanks for the compliment.

Fenty is a joke and so are you.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | July 29, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

As a DOES CP teacher, I am against the measure. I teach a specialized course which has based our entire curriculum, course challenges, and pace off of a 6-week schedule. On top of that rather inconvenient fact quite a few summer school teachers, like me, are contractually bound to a subsequent job once the program terminates. I am required to be in California by the 11th of August and had made travel arrangements, signed contracts based off an August 6th program termination date. That being said, I am not alone in this predicament; several of my fellow Colleagues

Posted by: Bluemellophone | August 1, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

As a DOES CP teacher, I am against the measure. I teach a specialized course which has based it's entire curriculum, course challenges, and pace off of a 6-week schedule. On top of that rather inconvenient fact quite a few summer school teachers, like me, are contractually bound to a subsequent job once the program terminates. I am required to be in California by the 11th of August and had made travel arrangements and signed contracts based off an August 6th program termination date. That being said, I am not alone in this predicament; several of my fellow colleagues will be absent prior the proposed program's end. I will not go to say that Fenty's move is political, yet I do not dismiss the accusation, but strongly argue that extending the program does not benefit the students. The change will harshly disrupt the program's uniformity and is horrendously ill-timed being that the program's slated termination date is in 5 days.

Posted by: Bluemellophone | August 1, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company