D.C. schools’ declining budgets


D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson says enrollment trends must drive her budgeting decisions. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson will appear before the D.C. Council’s education committee Thursday, where she will face tough questions about her budget decisions for the next school year. As Emma Brown reports in the Post, many schools will have fewer resources despite a brightening city revenue picture, and “[p]arents and politicians say the reductions threaten families’ faith in the school system, particularly in nonselective high schools and middle schools, many of which are facing deep cuts.” Those hit include successful schools like Capitol Hill’s Stuart Hobson Middle School, which may have no full-time foreign language teacher next year. Henderson says budgets had to be adjusted to deal with enrollment shortfalls; Council education committee chair David A. Catania (I-At Large) says there has to be a better way.

In other news:

Mayor Vincent Gray has a plan to allow illegal immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses (PostAPExaminerWAMU-FMHuffPo)

Antoine Jones calls it quits, takes plea deal before fourth trial on drug conspiracy charges (PostLegal TimesWaTimes)

Mega-investor Emanuel Friedman donates $100,000 to David Catania’s education reform fund (Post)

Catania: DCPS goal of 70 percent student proficiency by 2017 “is just folly” (WAMU-FM)

Streetcars return to District of Columbia trackage after 40 years (Dr. GridlockWAMU-FMExaminerWJLA-TVWRC-TVWTOP)

The new, perfectly reasonable D.C. taxi color scheme (Post)

Mayor Vincent Gray “hinting” at re-election run, Tom Sherwood says (WRC-TV)

Latisha Frazier killing is “perhaps the most shocking crime attributed to a youth entrusted to DYRS” (WaTimes)

Guilty verdict for Tommy Branch, 22, on beating of Capitol Hill resident T.C. Maslin (PostWTOP)

Guilty pleas in hit-and-run death of Trinidad resident Ruby Whitfield (Post)

Meet Russ Ptacek, the local TV investigative reporter we deserve (City Paper)

Was Elissa Silverman’s strong second the first show of “young urbanist” political muscle? (Post column)

D.C.’s medical marijuana program could help a lot more people than it will (City Desk)

Time for D.C. Council to get serious about depoliticizing contracts? (Post editorial)

Why a blockbuster D.C. United land swap makes sense (WBJ)

DC-CAN fiber optic network is not yet delivering on its full promise (Housing Complex)

Mary Cheh, who moved primaries to April, is “inclined to support” moving them back to June (WRC-TV)

In big blow for redevelopment hopes, Penn Branch Shopping Center has gone to foreclosure (Capital Business)

Allbritton Communications ponders sale of WJLA-TV, NewsChannel 8 (PostErik WempleWBJ)

Chartered Health Plan is dead; long live AmeriHealth D.C. (WBJ)

Pastor departs First Baptists Church amid disputes about race, money and liturgy (Post)

Gruesome details in hit-and-run killing of South Capitol Street pedestrian (WTOP)

Antiabortion activists protest outside Foggy Bottom clinic featured in undercover video (PostWTOP)

D.C. out-of-wedlock birth rate fell two percentage points in two years (Examiner)

The case for a strong independent attorney general (GGW)

Health, food service, education, nonprofit and “professional and technical services” sectors drive D.C. job growth (WBJ)

The D.C. Design House parking tiff is even more ridiculous than you thought (Washingtonian)

Another big chef abandons his D.C. outpost (GOG)

Midtown grocery glut? (City Paper)

Hawaii legislators back D.C. voting rights (WAMU-FM)

Two shot, one fatally, on Wednesday morning in Trinidad; arrest made (PostWUSA-TV)

The $2,200 Trinidad English basement (WAMU-FM)

What was RG3 tweeting about, anyway? (Sports Bog)

M Street cycletrack should be finished by August (WTOP)

New, lower-cost Capital Bikeshare membership option (Bikeshare)

Movie shoot (for Captain America sequel?) will close Memorial Bridge on Sunday (ARLnow)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · May 1, 2013