Bad Timing on School Cuts

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shame on Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, and the D.C. Council for their incompetent handling of the public schools budget ["More Than 220 D.C. Teachers Lose Jobs," front page, Oct. 3]. Spending cuts can be expected during a recession. But any cuts to school budgets should have been made during the summer. Six weeks into the school year is not an acceptable time to eliminate teaching positions.

Had school administrators been informed of the need for cuts two or three months earlier, when they were scheduling and planning for the new year, they would have hired fewer teachers and created schedules based on larger classes. But at this late date it is impossible to eliminate teaching positions without considerably disrupting classes and student schedules.

The chancellor has an ax to grind with the Washington Teachers Union, and it seems that, once again, the children of the District are being used as pawns in a political game.



The writer is a teacher at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

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