The D.C. Board of Education voted last night to spend $1.2 million to provide summer school classes for about 7,000 students who otherwise would not be promoted to their next grade.
The summer program, greatly expanded from what has been offered the last two years, will be available to about 5,000 pupils in grades one through six, and to about 2,000 in grades nine and 12 who have failed to meet all promotion requirements.
In addition, a special bilingual program will be offered to the 400 foreign-born students who have entered the school system in the last year.
Pupils in the first through sixth grades who failed to meet both the reading and mathematics standards and those who received transitional promotions (essentially a half grade) because they failed in either reading or mathematics will be eligible to attend summer school.
At mid-term, a total of 8,902 first through sixth grade pupils received transitional promotions and 11,076 others failed to pass both math and reading requirements. Statistics are not yet available for failures for the complete school year, which will end next week.
Ninth graders with transitional promotions to high school and 12th grade students who need to make up work to graduate, also will be eligible to attend the summer program.
Surplus school food service funds totaling $764,229 and Title I funds totaling $441,219 will pay for the program.
Board member R. Calvin Lockridge cast the only vote in opposition to the summer school plan, arguing that the program represents a "Job Corps" for teachers and that the money would be better spent on restoring the hours of food service employes, which have been cut back by budget restraints, and reducing the price of students' lunches.
Also at at last night's meeting, N. Carl Cannon, the board's executive secretary, released a report outlining the $34,920 recently spent for renovating and redecorating the school board's offices. The work included $20,000 in carpeting for the board's meeting room and individual board members' offices, $6,000 to replace a phone system which was installed in 1980, and $5,000 to alter the layout of the staff offices.
Lockridge complained that the expenditures were excessive and unnecessary since the board must go to Congress seeking a $7.6 million supplemental appropriation to balance this year's school budget.