UPDATE 5/2/16 2:30PM: As of May 2nd, 249 people have signed onto this letter. Signers are from all Wards and represent a range of interests: parents, schools, individuals, and citywide organizations.
On April 20th, PTA and LSAT leaders and other members of the Capitol Hill Public School Parent Organization (CHPSPO) kicked off a sign-on letter to the DC Committee on Education as an effort to engage parents and school leaders in all wards to fight for a more rigorous, transparent school modernization approach for all.
The letter calls on the DC Council Education Committee to “reject the Mayor’s FY2017-FY2022 DCPS Capital Improvement Plan as it is proposed” and requests a plan with clearer rationale and accurate and transparent data. It was signed initially by 31 parent leaders and sent to Committee members on April 20 in advance of the DCPS oversight hearing on April 21.
We hope more parents, teachers, school leaders, and community members will join us.
> Read the letter and sign on here
Last year the Committee on Education wisely responded to the city’s poor track record of wasteful spending, broken school promises, and no clear plan or rationale to the Capital Improvements Plan with a data-driven approach of transparently assessing and prioritizing what we do with limited capital dollars. It wasn’t a perfect matrix, but it was a big step forward and included an opportunity for public input on the values and data underlying the approach.
The Mayor’s current Capital Improvement budget proposal responds to the need to focus on school modernization as a priority — but the Mayor’s plan as proposed does not invest in our schools with a clear vision, transparent data, or evidence of efficient spending. Nor was any public engagement or findings of the recent 21st Century School Fund historical modernization analysis part of determining the DCPS matrix used to develop the budget.
The fiscal and educational impact of this plan is so significant that we call on the City Council to use its oversight role to require more rigor from the Mayor and DCPS in the data, transparency, and criteria used to create this plan.
We ask that the Committee not allow any modernization budget to be approved until the following five specific elements are included (as detailed in the sign-on letter):
* Stabilization Plan Based on Health and Safety Needs of All Schools
* Accurate and Transparent Data
* Consistent and Relevant Method
* Incentives to Get Better Value from Project Expenditures.
* Fix All in 6: Council should commit to funding over the next 6 years every school’s modernization needs.