15 Dec 2014


ANC 6B Reacts to Surprise Disapproval of Funds for Payne Elementary School

Payne_Elementary_School_-_Google_MapsBy Denise Krepp, ANC6B10 Elect

In a surprise maneuver, Councilmembers Yvette Alexander and David Catania introduced legislation last week that will take $9 million away from Payne elementary school. The Council of the District of Columbia will meet this Wednesday to discuss the proposal.

The $9 million dollars was not originally in Payne’s budget. In November 2014, Mayor Gray submitted a reprogramming request to the Council. Pursuant to his request, $16 million originally allocated for proposed Ward 4 and Ward 7 middle schools would be given to Stanton and Payne elementary schools to complete renovations underway. Students are currently enrolled at these schools and the renovations will bring them into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

On December 11, 2014, Councilmembers Catania and Alexander submitted a proposed resolution to the Council that would disapprove the reprogramming request. According to unnamed sources, Mayor-Elect Bowser also supports the disapproval.

The disapproval request is surprising given the negative impact it will have on families who live at the homeless facility shelter located on the old DC General property. This shelter is in Ward 7 and the children who live there, including Relisha Rudd, attend Payne elementary school.

Truly puzzling. The families at the homeless shelter have so little. Why would the Council take away funds that could improve their lives?

Over the weekend, ANC6B Commissioners drafted a letter to Chairman Mendelson recommending he vote against the proposed legislation. It’s my hope that Chairman Mendelson, along with his fellow Council members, oppose Councilmembers Catania and Alexander’s bill.   This is the season of giving and the best gift they could give to the homeless shelter children is money to rebuild their school.

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