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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 Maryland at College Park.

An occasional panelist on Roland Martin's “Washington Watch” and Denise Rolark Barnes' “Let's Talk” weekly news analysis cable-TV programs, Mrs. Simmons has also appeared on BET's “Lead Story,” “Real Time with Bill Maher” and Mr. Maher's “Politically Incorrect,” “America's Black Forum,” Fox News' “The O'Reilly Factor,” “The Right Side with Armstrong Williams,” C-SPAN's “Washington Journal,” and “This is America with Dennis Wholey.” She also has been a guest radio commentator on NPR, WAMU, WMAL and WOL.

Mrs. Simmons attended the University of the District of Columbia and Trinity College. She and her husband, who live in Washington, have four children and two grandchildren. Contact Mrs. Simmons at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

 

Articles by Deborah Simmons

SIMMONS: No free-agent status as a dad

Between now and Father's Day, we'll know whether Kobe Bryant lifted the Los Angeles Lakers to their 16th NBA title or whether the aging Boston Celtics added an 18th winner-take-all banner to the rafters of the Garden. In the interim, the yakety-yak about LeBron James' free-agent status is never-ending. Published June 3, 2010

**FILE** D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. (The Washington Times)

D.C. teachers get raises, accept merit pay in pact

As their colleagues in New York City and suburban Washington face salary freezes, furloughs and layoffs, D.C. teachers on Wednesday approved a $140 million contract that grants them raises retroactive to 2007. Published June 2, 2010

Michelle A. Rhee

D.C. teachers' union OKs new contract

Members of the Washington Teachers Union approved a new contract Wednesday that both city and labor leaders called beneficial for schoolchildren and will include a voluntary merit-pay component and reduce the impact of tenure in teaching-firing decisions. Published June 2, 2010

** FILE ** An officer is under investigation for a possible neglect of Mayor Adrian Fenty's property. Two bikes were stolen from the mayor's residence June 3.

D.C. mayor cites 'emergency' to raise fees, fines

The cost of living, working and doing business in D.C. rose a little more Tuesday, after Mayor Adrian M. Fenty again reneged on his no-tax-increase pledge and implemented "emergency" executive orders that increase scores of fees for business permits and traffic fines to pay for his 2010 and 2011 spending plans. Published June 1, 2010

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray

D.C. lawmakers seek more cash to spend

While fiscal conservatism has been espoused on occasion by D.C. lawmakers, profligate spending has been the rule of thumb for occupants of City Hall. 2010 is shaping up to be more of the same as eight of the 13 members of the D.C. Council — all but one Democrats — face election battles. Published May 30, 2010

**FILE** Antonio Garcia restocks beverages at the Corner Market in Washington on May 22, 2010. (Associated Press)

Soda, sweet drinks tax passes in D.C.

D.C. lawmakers on Wednesday approved a controversial soda tax, trimmed funding for the H Street/Benning Road Northeast streetcar plan, funded a statehood initiative and approved legislation for a commuter tax Published May 26, 2010

D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. calls his proposal the District Tax Dollars Fairness Act of 2010. (The Washington Times)

Bill seeks financial lift from D.C. commuters

The D.C. Council is poised to take up a change to the city charter that would clear the way to impose a commuter tax on most city government workers — including teachers and principals, public safety personnel and administrative and blue-collar workers — who do not live in the city. Published May 24, 2010

Rhee seeking to revamp D.C. rules on teacher tenure

Before the fall of 2009, D.C. schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee followed the common practice of using a seniority-based method to lay off teachers. Her hands, like those of her counterparts across America, were tied by last-hired-first-fired rules. Now D.C., along with New York, Colorado and other states, are revamping those rules. Published May 24, 2010

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is trying to turn around the culture of the school system itself. (The Washington Times)

Rhee seeking to revamp D.C. rules on teacher tenure

Before the fall of 2009, D.C. schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee followed the common practice of using a seniority-based method to lay off teachers. Her hands, like those of her counterparts across America, were tied by last-hired-first-fired rules. Now D.C., along with New York, Colorado and other states, are revamping those rules. Published May 23, 2010

SIMMONS: Don't leave home without papers

There's little chance that the encounter first ladies Michelle Obama and Margarita Zavala had with a second-grader on Wednesday was coincidental. Published May 20, 2010

D.C. Council airs priorities for taxes, spending

D.C. Council members televised their behind-the-scenes budget discussion for the first time Wednesday, giving the Washington public a clear view of their election-year spending intentions as the city faces an estimated $535 million deficit. Published May 20, 2010

D.C. Council airs priorities for taxes, spending

D.C. Council members televised their behind-the-scenes budget discussion for the first time Wednesday, giving the Washington public a clear view of their election-year spending intentions as the city faces an estimated $535 million deficit. Published May 19, 2010

Fenty budget omits statehood-bid funds

Two D.C. Council members want to know why Mayor Adrian M. Fenty failed to put funds in his fiscal 2011 budget for the push for statehood - an issue he supports and that would give D.C. residents the congressional voting rights that have been repeatedly thwarted. Published May 14, 2010

Kids need exercise, not bureaucrats

First lady Michelle Obama's decision to fight childhood obesity is a courageous battle of good intentions. There's no need to cite the overwhelming statistics that prove America's couch potatoes are breeding overweight spuds. And there's no need to recite the growing list of corporations and nonprofits that are lining up to partake in the new Fight Fat Movement. Published May 14, 2010

SIMMONS: Kids need exercise, not bureaucrats

First lady Michelle Obama's decision to fight childhood obesity is a courageous battle of good intentions. There's no need to cite the overwhelming statistics that prove America's couch potatoes are breeding overweight spuds. And there's no need to recite the growing list of corporations and nonprofits that are lining up to partake in the new Fight Fat Movement. Published May 14, 2010

Fenty budget omits D.C. statehood-bid funds

Two D.C. Council members want to know why Mayor Adrian M. Fenty failed to put funds in his fiscal 2011 budget for the push for statehood - an issue he supports and that would give D.C. residents the congressional voting rights that have been repeatedly thwarted. Published May 14, 2010

D.C. OKs charter, adult-ed funding

The D.C. Council unanimously proposed Tuesday to bolster funds for charter schools, restore cuts to adult-education programs and leave several aspects of the mayor's education spending plans unchanged. Published May 12, 2010