- Tearin’ up my tweet: ‘N Sync’s Lance Bass promotes wrong Obamacare website
- Oil rig worker says he saw missing plane go down: report
- Pentagon: U.S. F-16 fighter jets to train with Poland near Ukraine
- Jerry Sandusky’s wife: Victims manipulated over money
- Ben Carson: America’s now ‘very much like Nazi Germany’
- Heroin found on N.J. toddler at day care
- Pistorius trial: Police conduct faces scrutiny
- Gaza militants fire large rocket barrage at Israel
- CBO chief: Projected job loss numbers from minimum wage hike are fluid
- Rep. Rangel: ‘No question’ Harlem explosion is result of gas leak, not terrorism
SIMMONS: New residency requirements to work for city a shakedown
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.
Know this, too: The flame under that cast-iron frying pan is on high because 41 percent of the 76,000 students in D.C. schools are in charter schools. The administration of Mayor Vincent C. Gray claims those students will get a fairer deal when its new point-based policy on charter school facilities comes into play.
See, when it comes to money for charter students and the facilities they use, the D.C. government is bound by law to grant charters a right of first offer, but the city too often turned its back on these children.
But now that the city has a grading system for charter applicants that want surplus buildings, the possibility that school-age children won't be the primary recipients further fans the flames for the chancellor.
Quoting from The Washington Post here: "We don't want to turn over a public asset to an institution that's not going to provide a quality service to the community," Deputy Mayor for Education De'Shawn Wright said.
Well, begging his pardon, but if "quality" is the operative word, then the doors for most D.C. schools would have been shuttered long ago as evidenced by abysmal standardized test and SAT scores.
At every turn between now and the end of the school year, the chancellor must ask the burning question: Will my decision improve the academic lot of D.C. school children?
• Deborah Simmons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
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 ...
- SIMMONS: Too close to Thompson's tangled web, Mayor Gray should go
- SIMMONS: Obama's birthday gift to Barry
- SIMMONS: Obama's 'Brother's Keeper' a big-government initiative that lacks faith
- SIMMONS: Andy Shallal a CEO suited for the District
- SIMMONS: It's high time someone made sense on D.C. pot plan
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
- Oil rig worker says he saw missing plane go down: report
- Inside the Beltway: A new interest in Rahm Emanuel for 2016?
- Female TSA officers say pat-down duty leads to workplace discrimination
- NRA shirt gets N.Y. high school student suspended
- Police: Columbia mall shooter left chilling message before rampage
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Dog left in car blasts horn for 15 minutes
- Ben Carson: America's now 'very much like Nazi Germany'
- HURT: John Kerry The ridiculous face of a ridiculous U.S. diplomacy
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again