Mayor Marion Barry has appointed two women with long histories of involvement with the troubled D.C. school system as his assistants in charge of liaison with the schools, officials said yesterday.
Patricia E. Minor, currently a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education, will begin working next Monday as special assistant to the mayor for education, officials said.
Miner will replace Dwight S. Cropp, executive secretary of the city government, who has been acting as Barry's education liaison since October. She will be paid about $41,000 a year, Cropp said.
Cropp also said that Patricia W. Morris, president of the D.C. Congress of Parents and Teachers, has been hired to serve as Barry's link to the community on educational matters.
Morris' new post is a part-time job, Cropp said, and she will be paid $9,250 a year.
Cropp described the appointments as the fulfillment of promises made by Barry last year to become more involved with the problem-plagued schools. He said Barry, who has been a vocal critic of the current D.C. Board of Education, also plans to support candidates in this year's school board elections.
"The Mayor has indicated he would be putting more emphasis and higher priority on education," Cropp said. "That's what you see here."
Barry frequently attacks the school board at neighborhood forums for refusing to disclose details of how money for schools is spent. He sparred with school board members for several months last year over the school budget.
Cropp said the new post that Morris will fill was created because "we found that we were making decisions in the absence of any real input from the community." Morris, a longtime activist concerning the schools, "will spend most of her time outside of the District Building" at neighborhood meetings, Cropp said.
Miner served previously as executive secretary to the Board of Education, as assistant secretary to the City Council and as an aide to the late Councilman Julius Hobson.
Her duties will include helping to draft any legislation that affects the schools, representing the mayor's interests in all educational matters and advising the mayor on issues affecting the schools.
Both women are natives of Washington and both attended D.c. public schools.