Fenty Gets His Way: Like Bloomberg, Will Run Schools

by Dax-Devlon Ross

From Washington Post 

D.C. Schools Takeover Gets Initial Approval


By Nikita Stewart and Theola Labb?
Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The D.C. Council granted preliminary approval yesterday for a dramatic shift in power for the city’s public schools, giving the mayor control over the budget, key administrative functions and the blueprint for modernizing every dilapidated building in the 55,000-student system.

Following the example of other big-city mayors, notably Michael R. Bloomberg (R) of New York, Adrian M. Fenty (D) would assume the reins of the school district, and the school superintendent would report directly to him.

After final approval from the council, which could come as early as April 17, and Congress later this spring, parents could see the first changes in the fall. As part of the new structure, the council would have line-item budget control, and the school board would set academic standards.

In one of the biggest departures from the plan that Fenty announced in January, the council would have the authority to rescind the mayor’s control over the schools if he did not show “sufficient progress in education” within five years.

Council members, who approved the takeover in a 9 to 2 vote on the first reading, spoke passionately about the need for a sweeping change in governance to stop the mass exodus of students from public schools. They said they are putting their trust in 36-year-old Fenty, who lobbied ardently for the takeover.

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