Let's start with the "Education Mayor" and his flunkies. Fenty and his flunkies have known since last fall that the Catholic Church was looking to do what other private foundations have been doing for several years now: dip into the public coffers in the name of charter schools. In fact, as the Washington Post reports -- in a surprisingly critical piece -- it was yet another example of empty promises from the education wing of Fenty's regime:
Victor Reinoso, deputy mayor for education, indicated at the time that the city clearly understood the implications of the archdiocese's announcement: "We will take it into consideration as we plan future budgets," he said.
That never happened.
District officials disclosed last week that they are still looking for the money to finance the schools, a sum that could come to as much as $16 million this year. They have told the nonprofit operator, Center City Public Charter Schools, that its first quarterly payment from the city -- due by July 15 under District law -- will be delayed.
Brilliant. Loyal readers should know Victor Reinoso's name: he's Fenty's "Deputy Mayor for Plagiarism," or as he's colloquially known, the deputy mayor for education. Still, a toothless DC Council approved his nomination last summer...
Reinoso and Rhee are cut from the same cloth: say what's expedient at the moment and forget about the follow-through. As with Rhee's empty promises to Benning Elementary, Reinoso's assurances are merely meant to placate and defer the inevitable moment of truth.
Not exactly a wise way to run a school system.
And maybe the D.C. Council is finally starting to take notice that it's not necessarily a good thing to offload your authority and oversight and hope for the best:
The Center City application touched political nerves on the council, which has grown increasingly concerned about its lack of control over a charter school sector that now costs the city more than $360 million a year. Earlier this month, Gray and D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) introduced legislation tightening the regulation of charter schools, including a mandated 15-month planning period before newly approved schools open.
Really? You think maybe $360 million a year of public money going to private organizations is something you should be concerned about, Councilmembers Gray and Wells? Well, thanks for the brilliant insight. Maybe you should perk up before Rhee finishes the job.