Budget cuts that Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has proposed would undermine traditional schools that are struggling to improve and to compete with charters, according to parents and activists who testified Wednesday before the D.C. Council.
“It’s the ‘Hunger Games,’ school edition, ensuring a slow, resource-starved death for schools,” said Valerie Jablow, one of several Capitol Hill Cluster School parents who spoke against the cuts.
Members of the council’s education committee appeared sympathetic to the complaints.
“I do not support and will do everything I can to reverse these destabilizing effects. I reject the notion that we cannot do better,” said the committee’s chairman, David A. Catania (I-At Large), who said he was particularly concerned about middle-school cuts.
The squeeze comes in part from a revised approach to projecting the number of students who will enroll in each school. Funding is based on those projections, and in recent years, officials have consistently anticipated more students than actually showed up for class.