Shocking parents who arrived at a meeting expecting good news about the “swing site” location for its upcoming construction, the Deputy Mayor of Education announced Wednesday night that DCPS would use a school halfway across the city instead of a local option.
As GM wrote about recently, there was a strong push from Hyde parents to use a local spot for the temporarily location of the school. After our supposed friends in Burleith stopped one viable option (the Duke Ellington field) the only viable local option was to use space at Hardy that will be vacated by the Fillmore Arts program.
This push appeared to be successful when the mayor told Councilmember Jack Evans last week that a local option would be selected. Apparently Deputy Mayor Jenny Niles didn’t get the memo. She appeared before the School Improvement Team Wednesday night and announced that the decision is final and Meyer School (which is at 11th and Euclid, four miles away) was the choice.
This is a horrible choice for all the reasons GM mentioned in his earlier post. It will devastate enrollment from Georgetown families. It will require sending 3 year olds on a bus for what might be as much as an hour a day (how do you load a bus with 3 year olds anyway? How many different waves of buses will be needed? DCPS doesn’t say.) This apparently doesn’t bother Niles.
Oh and it gets worse. They are also apparently scaling back on the project itself, including the reduction of new space and the decision to locate the cafeteria underground.
Oh, and by the way, Duke Ellington School is going to cost a quarter of a billion dollars and end up getting used only half the time. And while we’re talking about Duke Ellington school, remember that the kids who attend that school are currently using Meyer. The only way Meyer will even be available is if the Duke Ellington project is complete by next August. There are large portions of that building that still don’t even have a roof. There is no way it will be done by August.
The way that DCPS has absolutely screwed both these projects up over, and over, and over again without any, ANY, ramifications to those screwing it up is an embarrassment. People should be fired. And if your elected officials aren’t pushing for that, they should be fired too.
Let the mayor know how you feel about the way her subordinate is knowingly screwing over our kids by calling her office at 202-727-2643. And call Jack Evans office while you’re at it (202-724-8058). He was arguing our case with Niles right up to her decision, and he deserves credit for that, but it’s good for him to hear from you too.