SIMMONS: New residency requirements to work for city a shakedown

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

If you think the District’s handgun controllers are anti-Second Amendment wackos, take a gander at this.

The D.C. Council is considering legislation that would require all “newly hired District government employees who live outside of the District of Columbia to agree to pay a percentage of their salaries back to the District as a condition of employment.” It is called the Condition of Employment Act.

Another bill, the District Domicile Requirement Amendment Act, would require new D.C. employees in the “Career Service and Educational Service who are paid at a rate equivalent to the CS-12 [starting at $62,499] or above be domiciled in the District of Columbia at the time of hire, or become domiciled within 180 days, and remain domiciled for at least 7 years after the date of hire.”

And yet another would require city officials to “certify the employment of non-District residents and include the reasons for the employment of non-District residents in the certification.”

The first bill is a commuter tax measure and the second and third represent red tape gone wild.

These proposals are cloaked under the guise of residency requirements and D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Democrat who disappointed with her monstrous ethics-reform package, has scheduled hearings on them for Wednesday.

All three measures reek of a moblike shakedown.

A different kind of hottie: D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson is about to leap from the frying pan into the fire.

The ground-breaking contract signed in 2010 between the Washington Teachers Union and D.C. schools is set to expire and the chancellor had better have a flame retardant wardrobe ready during the course of the next several months as she rolls out her school-consolidation plan, followed by her 2013 budget plan, followed by school layoffs.

Will our children be burned in the process?

The closure/consolidation plan, involving nearly two dozen brick-and-mortar facilities, should be the least of her problems as the demand for traditional public education declines and charter enrollment increases.

Regarding contract talks, one of the key discussions centers on a longer school day, which union President Nathan Saunders said is going to cost us more money.

Longer school days and weekend instruction are practically commonplace in high-performance charters. This move could be a good thing if, after implementation, D.C. Public Schools’ student achievement improves.

As for inventory, fewer buildings means fewer teachers, which is why a new ratified teacher contract must be in hand before Ms. Henderson announces which schools will be closed, how much money she wants for next school year and how many teachers and other school-based workers will be let go.

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About the Author
Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...

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