The lunch bell at Simon Elementary School rang at 11 this morning as D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty was making a presentation to media on city funding for children's programs.
"It reminds me of my youth," said Fenty, who was standing in the foyer of the Southeast Washington school during a news conference. "It gave me a chill."
Fenty didn't share what flashback the bell conjured up. But he went on to outline how the city is proposing to increase spending for children by $181 million in the 2009 fiscal budget.
"There's more money in the budget for children," Fenty said, adding that city spending would increase from $2.69 billion to $2.87 billion. "We're making sure the money we're spending for children is getting to them and getting to them in a coordinated way."
The mayor's so-called "Children's Budget" is a compilation of spending for young people in such city agencies as education, health, public safety, jobs and housing.
Fenty said that while children and youth represent 23 percent of the population, the city is proposing to spend 30 percent of the budget for them.