Need for Community Services in Schools
There is a lot of need for community services, community schools, wrap around services. The extra space in schools should provide for these services. There is a huge need for adult services such as job training and adult literacy. There is huge need for community support in these schools. This would be positive as opposed to having empty school buildings.
The Far Southeast Family Collaborative has offices at Ron Brown. That’s what the extra space in the schools should be used for. Families need those services.
We need community schools open all day with after school and adult literacy programs – parent support is a big piece needed.
What about transportation? How far is too far to walk? 1 mile? ½ mile?
One mile is probably too far for elementary school students but ½ mile might be OK. Middle school students going to Johnson may have to go a huge distance to get to Hart - - too far for them, especially in the dark. The distance is not so much the issue as the safety - - where you have to walk.
Transportation is a real problem for low income families. Bus passes are expensive, especially if you have more than one child. Transportation is especially a problem for middle school students. Parents will pursue other options rather than face difficult and expensive bus rides.
The economy is a real problem for people in this area - - Wards 7 and 8. People really do not have the money.
Effects of Charter Schools
DCPS problems started with charters. Charters started popping up in DC after 1995; how did this structure get in place? Maybe DCPS should run schools more like charters.
But many charters are not proficient and they get rid of their behavior problems after October 5th - - those students end up back in DCPS. And the money does not follow the student to DCPS.
In earlier generations there were no charters - - everyone went to DCPS and the schools were large.