Thursday, April 30, 2009

Continued funding for gang/crew intervention

Ward 1 CM Jim Graham once again came through for gang/crew intervention funding in FY 2010.   According to the draft committee report, $1.25 million will go to the Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative, the fiduciary agent and member of the CCCYVP* Executive Committee.   The funds are actually fines generated from the Committee’s FY2010 enhanced parking control initiative (described in the draft committee report).   However, as is the case in FY 2009, not all the funds go to gang/crew work; rather, some is directed, earmarked, to specific organizations.   The allocations are:
  • $250,000 to the Georgia Avenue/Rock Creek East FSC
  • $50,000 to the Columbia Heights Youth Club for youth programs provided at the DPR Columbia Heights Youth Center
  • $75,000 to MentoringWorks2 for mentoring and career training programs at the DPR Parkview Recreation Center
  • $70,000 to Keely’s Boxing and Youth Center for for recreation and mentoring provided at the DPW facility located at the former Meyer Elementary School
  • $50,000 to In-Da-Streets for youth leadership development programs provided at Hubbard Place located at 3500 14th St NW.   (pages 39-40).
The remaining $600,000 goes to the gang work.   Grant allocations will be decided by the CCCYVP leadership, CCCYVP Advisory Board and Trust Corporation.

*Citywide Coordinating Council on Youth Violence Prevention.

Funding directed to Ward 6 youth

In response to the closing of the Eastern Branch of the BGC, the Committee on Public Works and Transportation directs $700,000 in one-time funding to the Trust (DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation)
to offer a competitive RFP process to award two competitive grants for Ward 6 youth programs in Southeast and Southwest from certified revenues from increased parking control officers described above.   (page 33).
  

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Aging and community services report is up

Aging and community services committee draft mark-up report.

NEW! "DC Politics with Jonetta"

Jonetta Rose Barras is back on the air starting May 5 -- check her out on WPFW, 89.3 FM, from 11:00 am - Noon!!!

Human services draft mark-up report is posted

Human services committee draft mark-up report.

Designated allocations made by Commtitee on Health

Designated allocations made by the Committee on Health for agencies including DOH and DMH are found on pages 109-110 in the draft committee report, online at the Council's Web site.   Look at the "Committee on Health Mark-Up Report."

Public works and transportation report posted

Public works committee draft mark-up report.

Economic development report posted

Just posted:   Committee on Economic Development draft mark-up report.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One of our own is honored

I have no interest in embarrassing Patty Mullahy Fugere.   But, I gotta say she is kind, compassionate, and honest. She epitomizes integrity and grace.   Patty is a model advocate, tireless and dogged and sure and true.   And for these and many other reasons, the D.C. Bar will honor Patty Mullahy Fugere, director of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, as the 2009 recipient of the William J. Brennan Jr. Award—the Bar’s highest honor—for her extraordinary efforts in the pursuit of equal justice.   Congratulations, Patty!

Go-go and more at Sasha Brue Youth Expo 2009

Sasha Bruce Youthwork does it again with Youth Expo 2009, Saturday, May 9.   This event is being held at the King Greenleaf Recreational Center and will connect young people with health counseling, HIV testing, educational and vocational resources as well as employment opportunities and a series of life skills workshops.   The Wizards’ Etan Thomas will speak and sign autographs and Sasha Bruce’s own 2XB go-go band will play, along with TCB and Backyard.   See the flier or contact Noah Bein at nbein[AT]sashabruce[DOT]org or 202.675.9365.

April revenue estimated delayed

On April 22, Nat Gandhi informed the mayor and council that there would be no April revenue estimate.   Instead, Dr. Gandhi recommended a release date of June 22 which happens to be after the votes on the budget, the send-off the Congress. According to the letter,
. . . given the high level of uncertainty in both the national and District of Columbia economies, certifying new revenue estimates prior to May 12th without the benefit of key information on the economy and tax receipts carries considerable risks. . .   There are two such risks to a May revenue estimate: (i) . . . whether we will face the “April Surprise” . . . and (ii) uncertainty regarding the performance of the real property tax per the first half billing and payment periods.

More draft mark-up reports!

So new reports added to the Council Web site:   Committee on Government Operations & the Environment and Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs.  

COH mark-up draft report items

The Committee on Health used a set of objectives to inform its evaluation of the mayor's proposed FY 2010 budget.   Those related to children and youth are:
  • Support school-based health and mental health services
  • Promote government accountability and transparency
  • Expand access to health insurance programs for District residents
  • Improve the quality of substance abuse prevention, treatment, and outreach services

Changes made by the Committee on Health include:

  • Adding 7.4 FTEs to allow for additional staffing flexibility within the School Mental Health Program. (p. 8)   This change is made to the DMH budget.
  • Redirecting $1.5 million in funds from fixed costs (actually, savings in fixed costs) to the DOH Community Health Administration and the Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration to support critical health care programs and services. (p. 16)
  • The committee is directing Local funds in object class 50 (subsidies and transfers) in part in this way:   $250,000 to the District of Columbia Birth Center, Inc. to promote healthy outcomes for pregnant women, infants, and their families;$150,000 to support pre-school immunization programs for District residents; $250,000 to support community partnerships for asthma prevention programs; up to $200,000 to support a grant to the National Capital Poison Center to provide operational support for poison-control activities; and $750,000 to improve perinatal outcomes. (p. 43)
  • In DMH, the committee directs "$250,000 to support a community grant for childbirth education and parenting and postpartum counseling for District residents."   This is for Local funds in object class 50 (subsidies and transfers). (p. 58)
The committee makes a policy recommendation for DOH to implement age-appropriate curricula in public and charter schools. (p. 44)   Commentary: This is sure to raise the ire of charters which want no more requirements imposed on them.

Ok, enough for now.   More items later today.

Check out draft mark-up reports

Up right now are the reports of the Committee of the Whole, Committee on Health, and Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary.   Be sure to return frequently as additional reports will be posted when they are finished.

Monday, April 27, 2009

UPDATED budget mark-up schedule!

NOTE:   This is as good as I can deliver right this very minute.   I'm sure other changes have been made in the mark-up schedule, so be sure to check with a committee to verify date and time.

As you know, Council committees mark up the mayor's proposed FY 2010 proposed budget next week.   Once again this year, the draft committee reports should be available so the public can follow along with the Council.   Here is the schedule:

April 28

  • 9: COW
  • 1: Committee on Finance and Revenue - RESCHEDULED TO APRIL 30 AT 4:00 PM
  • 3: Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary

  • April 29
  • 10: Committee on Health
  • 12: Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs
  • 2: Committee on Economic Development
  • 4: Committee on Public Works and Transportation

  • April 30
  • 10: Committee on Human Services
  • 12: Committee on Government Operation & The Environment
  • 2: Committee on Aging and Community Affairs
  • 4: Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation - RESCHEDULED TO MAY 1 AT 11:00 AM
  • 4: Committee on Finance and Revenue - NEW DATE AND TIME
  • 6: Committee on Housing and Workforce Development

  • May 1
  • 11:00 Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation - NEW DATE AND TIME
  • Child care providers wanted for government-owned facilities

    Just announced:   Request for Offers - Early Child Care Facilities.   On April 24, the DC government issued this RFO seeking early childhood providers to use government space.   Locations are:
    • Bald Eagle (100 Joliet St SW, 390 sf)
    • Banneker (800 Euclid St NW, 2,880 sf)
    • Benning Park (5100 Fitch St SE, 5,339 sf)
    • Fort Greble (Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue & Elmira St SW, 1,647 sf)
    • G Street (3030 G St SE, 5,467 sf)
    • Kenilworth-Parkside (4300 Anacostia Ave NE, 5,113 sf)
    • New York (100 N St NW, 3,841 sf)
    • Randall (820 South Capitol St SW, 1,289 sf)
    • Rose Park (2600 O St NW, 1,512 sf)

    The pre-submission meeting is May 1 and offers are due May 18.   More information here.

    Sunday, April 26, 2009

    Testify about gang prevention and intervention on May 18

    The Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary will continue hearing testimony on Bill 18-138, “Omnibus Anti-Crime Amendment Act of 2009”, and Bill 18-161, “Public Safety and Justice Amendments Act of 2009.”   The hearing is being held on May 18 starting at 10:30 am in the Council Chamber of the JAWB.  The former bill will make changes to current laws regarding gangs, witness retaliation, and anti-stalking.  Details of the hearing are here.

    Those who work with gang and crews should share their experiences with the Council.   Further, community experts should make specific recommendations about the proposed change to the law.

    May youth-only COW public hearing announced, May 9

    The COW will hold their monthly Youth Issues hearing on May 9 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber (Room 500) in the JAWB.   Details are here.

    Friday, April 24, 2009

    Are you ready for budget mark ups?

    As you know, Council committees mark up the mayor's proposed FY 2010 proposed budget next week.   Once again this year, the draft committee reports should be available so the public can follow along with the Council.   Here is the schedule:
      April 28
      9: COW
      1: Committee on Finance and Revenue
      3: Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary

      April 29
      10: Committee on Health
      12: Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs
      2: Committee on Economic Development
      4: Committee on Public Works and Transportation

      April 30
      10: Committee on Human Services
      12: Committee on Government Operation & The Environment
      2: Committee on Aging and Community Affairs
      4: Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation
      6: Committee on Housing and Workforce Development

    Data about older youth in foster care

    In preparation for the May 12 Youth Permanency Convening, CFSA has released some useful documents including this Older Foster Youth Profile May 2009.

    Calendar updates! Check 'em out

    Be sure to check out the calendar at the bottom of the page on a regular basis -- additions are being made a couple of days a week and you don't want to miss out!

    Cost of Quality Out-of-School Time Programs

    On April 20, 2009, Dr. Jean Grossman, author of the recently released study entitled Cost of Quality Out-of-School Time Programs, made a presentation to a crowd of OST supporters in Washington, DC.   The report, commissioned by The Wallace Foundation and written by Public/Private Ventures and The Finance Project, gathered and examined data from 111 programs in six cities (Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, New York and Seattle).   The report found that costs vary widely, depending on a range of factors from program goals to times of operation and the ages of the children served.   The report is distinctive because it looks at the full costs of programming, including non-cash contributions OST operators often depend on such as free-of-charge space for programming.   To bring these findings to life, Wallace and the report’s research team also created an online “OST cost calculator” on Wallace’s website to help users calculate the costs of various options for high-quality OST programs.

    The briefing was sponsored by the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, a is a nonprofit public-private partnership chartered by the District to help a wide variety of organizations improve the quality, quantity and accessibility of services and opportunities for every child in the city.

    This document is the PPT presentation containing highlights of the report.

    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    DC to use stimulus dollars for adult immunization

    A recent announcement reports that DOH will use the more than $300,000 award from the feds to immunize low-income adults.   So why I am repeating that here?   Well first because it will improve public health.   The real reason, though, is this from the release:
    Just last month, the District of Columbia received the Highest Immunization Coverage Award for an Urban Area for 19-35 month olds from the Centers for Disease Control.   The District’s immunization rate for 19-35 month olds is 85.4 percent compared to 77.2 percent nationally.
    Good job Department of Health, docs, nurses, health professionals!

    Chairman Gray's opener for BSA public hearing

    The FY 2010 budget support act public hearing opened today with this statement from Council Chair Vincent C. Gray: "In some prior years, the Council has included subtitles in the Budget Support Act that were not budget-related. I plan to continue the trend from last year by enforcing a relatively rigorous standard for subtitles to be germane and necessary to balance the budget. Any subtitle that is not budget-related will be stricken regardless of its merit."

    Hoorah!   This is another example of how Mr. Gray and many of his colleagues on this Council are improving expediency (another exciting example is sticking to time limits for witnesses at hearings*.)   I encourage the Council to keep this up.

    *Now to the criticism I am sure to face.   There are 364 other days in the year that the public can -- and I would argue should -- talk to elected officials.   There are many ways the public can get to know decision makers and share information about issues of concern to them with Councilmembers and staffers.   I agree that I have a much easier time than most; I get paid (well, have in the past) to do advocacy, cultivate relationships and the like.   Many District residents do not have the opportunities I have.   But there are opportunities.   And I would argue that we -- paid advocates -- may have to do more or do things differently to help facilitate changes that will make resident access better.   Should anyone be interested in improving access, finding new ways to do this, etc., I would be more than happy to be involved.

    Thoughts?   Let me know.   Use the email link on the right.   I'll share the ideas on the blog.

    Parent to Parent Leadership Institute

    Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE) has announced its latest Parent to Parent Peer Leadership Institute, May 9 and 16.   The institute features sessions on
    • Understanding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    • An Education Policy Review
    • Engaging in the Debate: Can Parents Make A Difference?
    • “Building Power from the Bottom Up”
    • Leading the Way: Parents as Leaders
    This event is for parents or family members of a child with special needs.   Details and the registration form are here.

    Students offer solutions to budget problem

    As those who watched the April 18 youth hearing or read WaPo's District Notebook today know, the city's budget has a "defect."   And that is why students from the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School donated a jar of coins and bills to the city.   The six elementary school age students presented $80 to Council Chair Vince Gray at the hearing.

    At a time when the Council and advocates are hashing out -- and fighting over -- the mayor's proposed FY 2010 budget, this is refreshing.   The students have demonstrated they understand what is needed: Solutions.   I, for one, will be writing the students and congratulating them on a job well done.

    If you missed the youth hearing, you can catch it on Channel 13 on demand.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Essential data and a brief history of DC

    For some of us old timers, the Indices are the go-to for data on the District, its population and program utilization.   Gone for a few years, the data book is now back.   Check out the 2007 edition.   In addition to data you will find a chronology of DC history (see p. 8).

    Monday, April 20, 2009

    New recreation fees proposed

    The Department of Parks and Recreation has issued proposed rules for fees for special events, uniform rental, facility rental, and the like.   According to the proposed rules, DPR will use the fees to maintain recreational facilities.   Comments are being accepted; deliver by May 16.

    Proposed rules regarding alcohol sales to minors

    The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board issued proposed rules that create a new section (806 of Title 23 of the DCMR) in the municipal regs to clarify what constitutes an “egregious” first-time sale to minor violation.   One definition of egregious is selling or serving a minor who cannot produce a valid ID following a request.   The proposed rules are in the DC Register.   The Board will not take action in less than 30 days from the date of publication (April 17, 2009).   The proposed rules are transmitted to the Council of the District of Columbia, and the final rules may not become effective until the expiration of the ninety (90) day period of Council review or upon approval by Council resolution, whichever occurs first.

    City Council public hearings

    The Committee on Human Services will will hold a public hearing on PR 18-0137, the Roque Gerald confirmation resolution, on May 13 at 11:00 am in the Council Chamber (Room 500) in the JAWB.   More information from Vivian McCarter, vmccarter[AT]dccouncil[DOT]us.   The committee will also hold a public hearing on Bill 18-0180, "Newborn Safe Haven Act of 2009."   The hearing is being held on May 28 at 2:00 pm in Room 412 of the JAWB.   vmccarter[AT]dccouncil[DOT]us.   The Committee on Health is holding a hearing on "The Continued Investigation of the Healthcare Delivery System in the District of Columbia" on April 27 at 10:00 am.   The hearing is being held in the Council Chamber (Room 500) in the JAWB.   More information from jbarry[AT]dccouncil[DOT]us.   These and other hearings in the DC Register.

    Clark Ray out as DPR director; Ximena Hartsock in

    Mayor Adrian Fenty has appointed Dr. Ximena Hartsock acting director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.   The mayor must know something the rest of us don't. . .   even the press release does not make a strong case for her experience and thus appointment.

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Upcoming CHS hearings

    Check out the calendar on the blog for upcoming hearings and roundtables being held by the Committee on Human Services.   Topics include leadership of CFSA and permanency for youth in foster care.

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Event: Next steps in advocacy on the CFSA budget, April 17

    DC Action for Children is sponsoring a follow-up event to their budget briefing on the CFSA proposed budget.   Next steps in advocacy on the CFSA budget:   Outstanding Issues and Required Actions is being held on April 17 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm; it is a conference call.

    The agenda includes:   1) walk-through of the process that remains; 2) identification of the outstanding issues -- noted at the hearing and subsequent to the hearing; 3) updates since the hearing -- what DC ACT and others have learned; and 4) strategies -- a) now through mark-up and b) we may need to revisit after the mark-ups before/after the votes.

    DC ACT needs to hear from interested participants by Wednesday, April 15.   Tell them what issues are outstanding after the April 3 public hearing before the Committee on Human Services. The issues DC ACT identified are listed in the April 8 updated analysis of the CFSA proposed budget.   Also share updates from CFSA, the Council or the Executive branch.   All of this information will be combined, reported out and discussed on the call.   Send this information to Abby Bonder, abonder[AT]dckids[DOT]org.

    Should you have any questions about the event, contact Abby at abonder[AT]dckids[DOT]org or 234-9404 x211.

    RSVP:   Space is limited so be sure to reserve your spot soon!

    Monday, April 13, 2009

    Ward 7 Town Hall: Crime, Juvenile Justice and more, May 13

    Save the date for this Ward 7 Town Hall, Community Issues, Crime, and Juvenile and Criminal Justice.   The event is being held on May 13 from 6:30 - 9:00 pm at Kelly Miller Middle School Auditorium (301 49th St NE).

    The event -- sponsored by Ward 7 CM Yvette Alexander, MPD's sixth police district's CAC and the Court -- features panelists from the DC and federal government agencies involved with law enforcement and prosecution.   Meeting attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and have them answered.

    Details about the event and contact information are on the calender (Advocacy in DC -- Calendar of Opportunities) below.

    Friday, April 10, 2009

    Fond farewell from Deborah Gist

    Dear DC Colleagues,

    It has been a true honor to work with you on the most important issue facing our city—education, and I write to you with affection and appreciation to say goodbye.   While we have a long way to go to serve children, adults and families as we all believe they should be served through education, there are amazing people all across the city doing great work every day.   It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve alongside you.

    The OSSE team is in good hands under the leadership of Dr. Kerri Briggs, the new State Superintendent of Education, and the work to improve the state education responsibilities in the system will continue in full force.   I have talked with Dr. Briggs about many of the ongoing issues and told her about groups and individuals she will want to get to know better, and I will continue to make myself available to her and to you to ensure a smooth transition.

    I am excited about my new opportunity as the Commissioner of Education for the state of Rhode Island, and I am enthusiastic about Dr. Briggs’ leadership.   I leave with pride and affection for each of you and for the OSSE team but also with the confidence that the work will carry on.   I expect to see great things happening in DC in the next year and will watch fondly from Rhode Island to cheer on your accomplishments.

    I hope to stay in touch!

    Deborah

    To stay in touch with Deb, you can use her new work address and email: Rhode Island Department of Education, 255 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903, deborah[DOT]gist[AT]ride[DOT]ri[DOT]gov.   And as some folks know, the best way to stay in touch with Deb is through Facebook.

    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    Help the city decide how to spend $7.5m

    In anticipation of receiving approximately $7.5 million in Federal funds, the city will hold a public hearing on the use of ARRA homeless prevention funds.   The hearing will be held on April 29 at 6:30 pm at 441 4th St, NW in the old Council Chambers on the first floor.   Check out the details about the hearing and the funding.

    CM Gray describes DCPS budget as "opaque"

    Here is Council Chair Vince Gray's opening statement for the April 9 DCPS budget hearing.   A taste of what Mr. Gray said:

    "It is axiomatic that education is fundamental to the success of the District of Columbia, especially during the difficult financial crisis we are currently experiencing. It is imperative that we focus on the persistent student achievement gaps found in the schools, as well as identify the best strategies to raise the achievement of all students, propelling them into meaningful careers and fulfilling lives.

    However, I would like to acknowledge that while improvements were made on the local school budgets, their guiding document remains opaque, stymieing the public’s and the Council’s ability to ascertain how DCPS is prioritizing spending and where DPCS has increased or decreased investment."

    Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    Cross-border public safety reaffirmed

    This press release relays the continued commitment of DC and MD leaders to maintain public safety and enhance crime fighting capacities.   There is no reason to dispute the commitment of either jurisdiction.   What will be particularly challenging for DC and perplexing to MD will be around gangs.   Not all officers in MPD who regularly work to deal with gangs and prevent gang activity and violence use GangNet, the nationwide database capturing gang member information.   Perhaps this continued partnership will highlight this gap in MPD's practice and result in wider use of this valuable tool.

    Council/Agency Q&A now online

    As promised, the City Council is posting questions and answers from the oversight hearings on their site.   Woo hoo!   More information!   Check them out here.

    More supporting docs on DC's budget site!

    Lots of new docs on the city's budget Web site.   Resources include reprogrammings and Medicaid program enhancement.

    New site on ARRA-related contracting opps in DC

    New is this site that contains contracting and procurement information related to the federal stimulus funds.

    DMH budget analyzed

    DC Action for Children just issued its analysis of the proposed FY 2010 budget for the Department of Mental Health.

    Stay on top of recovery funds in DC

    Did you know you can sign up for emails from the DC government recovery funds Web site?   Sign up here.

    Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    Rules proposed to increase rates for mental health services

    The Department of Health Care Finance has issued emergency and proposed rules to establish a new billing code and differential rates for certain mental health services for youth and adults.   The rules are on page 2626 of the DCR.   Information about commenting is found on page 2628; comments are due within 30 days of publication (April 3).

    Chancellor seeks community input on school scorecards

    The upcoming Chancellor's Community Forums are on school "scorecards" to be used by parents and the wider community.   DCPS has some ideas to share but seeks community input -- what parents, residents, and advocates would like to see on a school scorecard.

    The forums will be held:

    • Wednesday April 22, 6:30 - 8:00 pm at McKinley Technology High School (151 T St NE, .67 mi from Metro Red Line - New York Ave)
    • Wednesday April 29, 6:30 - 8:00 pm at Kelly Miller Middle School (309 49th St NE, .97 mi from Metro Orange line - Minnesota Ave)

    Proposed rules regarding mental health payments

    Emergency and proposed rules were included in the April 3 edition of the DC Register regarding advance payments for the provision of mental health services.   Check out page 2624.

    Government contemplates revoking community placement status of youth offenders

    The Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) has issued proposed rules regarding the process for making changes in a young person's community placement status.   The notice is in the April 3 edition of the DC Register on page 2608.   Comments may be submitted within 30 days of publication to DYRS.   Details are on page 2623.

    Final rulemaking on non-resident school tuition

    The State Superintendent of Education issued final rules regarding non-resident school tuition in the April 3 edition of the DC Register.   The rules are on page 2586.

    Monday, April 6, 2009

    Policy research methods workshop, April 16

    The George Washington Institute of Public Policy is holding Policy Research Methods Workshop on April 16 from Noon to 1:30 pm in 405 Marvin Center.   Chris Pece of the U.S. Census Bureau will present a research methods workshop on the state and local finance component of the Census of Governments.   If your work touches on public finance or you otherwise find yourself using the Census's data on state and local governmental finance (revenues, expenditure, debt, etc) you'll want to attend this talk.   Chris is the Assistant Division Chief in the USCB's Government's Division.   He will provide a broad overview of the Census of Governments as it applies to state and local government finance, and then address some of the technical issues and common confusions that people face when using the data.    This is a brown bag event.   RSVP to YoungG[AT]gwu[DOT]edu.

    Sunday, April 5, 2009

    Who knew? Yes, again!

    Really.   Who knew that IssueLab existed and didn't tell me?!   This is a great resource!

    From the site:   "IssueLab, where nonprofit research is brought into focus.   Each day nonprofits worldwide produce insightful and valuable research on complex social issues. IssueLab makes it easy to locate, access, and engage with this extensive and diverse body of knowledge."   So check it out!

    Saturday, April 4, 2009

    CFSA FY 2010 proposed budget info

    Dr. Roque Gerald testified before the Committee on Human Services on Friday, April 3 on the mayor's proposed FY 2010 budget for the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA).   Read his testimony.   In advance of the hearing, the committee asked five pages worth of questions of CFSA plans ranging from improving Medicaid claiming to the Youth Transition Center.   If you missed the hearing, go to OCT and watch the hearing on demand.

    UDC decision change does not let ece leaders off the hook

    At the recent UDC budget hearing, Dr. Sessoms, president of the university, is said to have reported the reversal of the decision to eliminate the undergrad education major.   This is good news for the early care system which has relied extensively on UDC to train and educate teachers and administrators in the early learning system.   That said, the original decision to eliminate the major must not be forgotten.   The uproar about the decision and the very real impact it would have shows how fragile and tenuous the training and education system truly is for early childhood development professionals.   This is an opportunity for the community to continue to advocacy and work for a more comprehensive and robust system.   (Thanks to Council Chair Vincent Gray for telling me that UDC changed their mind.)

    Friday, April 3, 2009

    OIG report: Plenty of blame to go around (amid shining moments of service delivery)

    In a hastily pulled together press conference yesterday, Mayor Fenty presided over the release of the Office of the Inspector General Report Report of Special Evaluation: Interactions Between An At-Risk Family, District Agencies, and Other Service Providers (2005-2008).   At 212 pages, this report is a thorough look at the timeline of the Jacks family, the events leading up to the untimely deaths of Banita Jacks' daughters.

    Watch the Fox 5 story on the report.

    Read the City Desk's take on the report.

    Thursday, April 2, 2009

    Wash Times launches Citizens Journalism project

    The Washington Times will soon launch a Citizens Journalism project devoted to six themes with all the articles written by real people (ok, I know journalists are real people, but you know what I mean.)   Authors will receive a byline and pieces will be run in the print WT and on the Web.   Interested?   Contact contact Deborah Simmons, dsimmons[AT]washingtontimes[DOT]com or Adrienne Washington, atwashin[AT]aol[DOT]com.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    DC GOP comments on FY 2010 proposed budget

    DC Republicans recently issued DC Republican Committee’s FY2010 Budget Recommendations DCGOP Recommendations for Fiscal Reform.   The recommendations include cutting the salaries of elected officials and eliminating the summer youth employment program.

    CFSA April 3 budget hearing time change

    The Committee on Human Services has changed the time of their CFSA budget hearing on April 3; the new start time is 1:00 pm.

    DCFPI enters the blogosphere!

    DC Fiscal Policy Institute recently announced the creation of a blog that is currently nameless (they are looking for suggestions).   DCFPI will post short analyses of the budget, announce important hearings, and highlight other issues affecting low- and moderate-income DC residents.   There will be one new blog entry a week and possibly more often during budget season.

    Welcome to OSSE Dr. Briggs

    Mayor Fenty today announced the appointment of Dr. Kerri Briggs as the State Superintendent of Education for the District of Columbia.   In this role, Dr. Briggs will run OSSE, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.   Dr. Briggs replaces Deborah Gist who is moving to run K-12 education in the state of Rhode Island.   Details about Dr. Briggs' background on the mayor's Web site.   Welcome her by emailing her at kerri[DOT]briggs[AT]dc[DOT]gov.

    Farewell, Deb!

    By now you have heard State Superintendent Deborah Gist is heading north to the great if tiny state of Rhode Island.   Congrats, Deb.   It has been terrific knowing you, learning from you.   All the best in this new chapter.   I will miss you.   Godspeed.