Mayor Bowser Kicks Off Education Week, 1/30/17
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Mayor Bowser Kicks Off Education Week, 1/30/17


>>MAYOR: WELL, GOOD MORNING,
EVERYBODY.>>GOOD MORNING!>>MAYOR: I’M DELIGHTED TO BE HERE TO KICK OFF EDUCATION WEEK
IN WASHINGTON, D.C. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] IT’S ALSO MY PLEASURE TO BE HERE
AT THE D.C. BILINGUAL PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL. AND LET’S GIVE A HAND TO OUR BOYS AND GIRLS WHO ARE WELCOMING
US. [APPLAUSE] SO APPRECIATE THAT. AND I ALSO WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE A FEW OF OUR DISTINGUISHED GUESTS
AS WELL. SO BEFORE I RECOGNIZE THEM, I
WOULD LIKE TO THANK MY TEAM AND EVERYONE HERE AT D.C. BILINGUAL
FOR ORGANIZING TODAY’S EVENT. AND I WANT TO THANK YOUR
INCREDIBLE TEACHERS AND SUPPORT STAFF FOR THEIR HARD WORK AND
DEDICATION. SO BOYS AND GIRLS, LET’S SAY
THANK YOU TO OUR TEACHERS. [APPLAUSE] SO MANY OF YOU HAVE HEARD ME SAY
THIS BEFORE — THAT THE INCREDIBLE RENAISSANCE OF
WASHINGTON, D.C. AND OUR CONTINUED GROWTH HAS LARGELY
HINGED ON TWO THINGS. AND THE FIRST ONE IS OUR CITY’S
COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC EDUCATION. AND WE CAN’T DO ENOUGH, RIGHT? THESE KIDS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AND HERE AT D.C. BILINGUAL ARE
COUNTING ON THEIR FAMILIES AND ELECTED OFFICIALS AND BUDGET
MAKERS AND POLICY MAKERS TO MAKE SURE WE CONTINUE TO INNOVATE AND
MAKE THE INVESTMENTS NECESSARY FOR THEIR SUCCESS. WE HAVE ALSO SEEN THE GROWTH OF OUR CITY BECAUSE OF OUR
COMMITMENT TO SAFETY IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS AND INVESTMENTS IN
OUR PUBLIC FACILITIES LIKE OUR PARKS AND RECREATION CENTERS AND
I SEE OUR DIRECTOR OF PARKS AND RECREATION HERE AND OUR PUBLIC
LIBRARIES AND I SEE OUR CHIEF LIBRARIAN HERE AS WELL. GIVE THEM A ROUND OF APPLAUSE AS WELL. [APPLAUSE] I AM TREMENDOUSLY PROUD OF THE
PROGRESS THAT WE HAVE MADE TOGETHER. MORE OF OUR SMALLEST LEARNERS, OUR 3 AND 4-YEAR-OLDS ARE
ENTERING SCHOOL AND GETTING A JUMP START ON THEIR EDUCATION. OUR ENROLLMENT CONTINUES TO RISE ACROSS OUR PUBLIC EDUCATION
SYSTEM AND MORE OF OUR STUDENTS ARE GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL
THAN EVER BEFORE. AND MORE OF THEM ARE REFINING
THEIR SKILLS AND CULTIVATING THEIR TALENTS IN COLLEGE AND
CLASSROOMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. WE HAVE MADE A LOT OF PROGRESS
OVER THE LAST DECADE. BUT THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO DO. WE KNOW THAT TOO MANY OF OUR STUDENTS ARE NOT GETTING THE
FAIR SHOT THAT OUR CITY CAN GIVE THEM. MANY OF THEM DO NOT HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO A HIGH QUALITY
EDUCATION OR THE RESOURCES THEY NEED TO REACH THEIR FULL
POTENTIAL. AND THAT’S WHY DURING MY FIRST
TWO YEARS AS MAYOR, WE HAVE DONE A LOT OF THINGS FOR OUR SCHOOLS
AND OUR KIDS. ONE OF MY FAVORITES, MANY OF YOU
WILL KNOW, IS THAT WE INTRODUCED THE EXTENDED YEAR PROGRAM ALL
ACROSS DCPS. SO LAST AUGUST — AND LYNNETTE,
GOOD TO SEE YOU. OUR BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBER IS
HERE. LAST AUGUST, 11 OF OUR SCHOOLS
INTRODUCED AN EXTENDED YEAR PROGRAM WHICH PUT OUR KIDS AT
WHAT? 20 EXTRA SCHOOL DAYS PER YEAR. WE ALSO EXPANDED THE KIDS RIDE FREE PROGRAM WHICH HAS BEEN A
TREMENDOUS HELP TO FAMILIES ACROSS WASHINGTON, D.C.
AS A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL, I INTRODUCED KIDS RIDE FREE ON THE
BUS. THAT GAVE EVERY FAMILY A FREE
RIDE ON THE METRO BUS. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT WE TOLD OUR
KIDS AND WE TOLD OUR FAMILIES THAT THEY HAD TO PAY $30 PER
MONTH TO GET TO SCHOOL? WELL, WE CHANGED THAT SEVERAL
YEARS AGO WITH THE BUS. AND NOW WHEN I BECAME MAYOR, I
WANTED ALSO TO MAKE THAT FREE SERVICE AVAILABLE IN THE
METRORAIL. AND WE HAVE DONE EXACTLY THAT. AND IT SAVES FAMILIES AN AVERAGE OF $700 PER YEAR. THAT’S REAL MONEY FOR FAMILIES IN WASHINGTON, D.C. IT COULD MEAN THE EXTRA TRIP, A NEW COMPUTER, EXPERIENTIAL
VACATIONS, ALL OF THE THINGS THAT WE KNOW HELP A CHILD HAVE A
FULL AND ROUNDED EDUCATION. WE ALSO LAUNCHED OUR
CROSS-SECTOR COLLABORATION TASK FORCE LED BY DEPUTY MAYOR NILES
AND FORMER MAYOR ANTHONY WILLIAMS. THE PURPOSE OF THE TASK FORCE, OF COURSE, IS TO LOOK ACROSS
BOTH OF OUR PUBLIC EDUCATION SECTORS TO MAKE SURE WE ARE
MAKING THE INVESTMENT THAT BEST — THE INVESTMENTS THAT
BEST SERVE FAMILIES AND KIDS. WE HAVE COMMITTED TO DOING THIS
WORK BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IN EQUITY AND WE BELIEVE IN
FAIRNESS. AND THOSE ARE THE KEY
CONTRIBUTORS TO A JUST SYSTEM. THESE ARE OUR VALUES. THEY ARE D.C. VALUES. YOU WILL HEAR ME TALKING ABOUT
HOW WE INVEST AND PROTECT D.C. VALUES ALL THE TIME. AND THE OPPORTUNITY GAPS THAT AFFECT SO MANY OF OUR STUDENTS
DO NOT REFLECT THE VALUES OF OUR CITY. SO TODAY I WANT TO ANNOUNCE THREE IMPORTANT NEW STEPS WE ARE
TAKING TO CLOSE THOSE OPPORTUNITY GAPS IN THE DISTRICT
OF COLUMBIA. SO WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT THE
OPPORTUNITY GAP AFFECTS EVERY STUDENT REGARDLESS OF
BACKGROUND, MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, OUR STUDENTS OF COLOR, OUR
ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS AND OUR ECONOMICALLY UNDERSERVED
STUDENTS ARE THE ONES WHO ARE HIT THE HARDEST. SO WE MUST CONTINUE TO PROVIDE HIGH QUALITY INSTRUCTION ACROSS
THE DISTRICT TO BETTER SERVE THEIR DIVERSE NEEDS. WE KNOW THAT ONE WAY TO DO THIS IS TO MAKE OUR FORMER SCHOOL
FACILITIES AVAILABLE TO PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS. AND AS PART OF THE REQUEST IS A PROCESS. WE ARE ANNOUNCING TWO AWARDS TODAY AND TWO ADDITIONAL
FACILITIES WE PLAN TO MAKE AVAILABLE THIS YEAR. FIRST OF ALL, D.C. BILINGUAL HAS BEEN AWARDED THE CANE SCHOOL. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] SO WE CAN SAY THAT THIS WILL BE
YOUR PERMANENT HOME. WE ARE PROUD THAT D.C. BILINGUAL
CAN CONTINUE TO OFFER ITS HIGH QUALITY TIER 1 DUAL IMMERSION
SPANISH AND ENGLISH EDUCATION CURRICULUM. SO I KNOW THAT THERE IS A COMMUNITY MEETING SCHEDULED FOR
THIS EVENING AT 6:00 P.M. I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO LEARN
MORE ABOUT PLANS TO MAKE D.C. BILINGUAL YOUR PERMANENT HOME. SECOND ANNOUNCEMENT, WE ARE ALSO AWARDING THE P.R. HARRIS SCHOOL
IN WARD 8 TO THE CHARTER INCUBATOR INITIATIVE. TO GIVE THEM A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR THIS AWARD. [APPLAUSE] THIS IS A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN
BUILDING HOPE AND OSSE. AND OUR SUPERINTENDENT OF OSSE
IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. AND THIS BUILDING AT P.R. HARRIS
IN WARD 8 WILL PROVIDE SPACE FOR TWO PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS AND
CONTINUE TO PROVIDE TRAINING SPACE FOR THE FIRE AND EMERGENCY
MEDICAL SERVICE AND THE UNIVERSITY OF THE DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA. SO NEXT MONTH WE WILL HOST A
COMMUNITY CONVERSATION ABOUT MAKING TWO ADDITIONAL BUILDINGS
AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL USE. THE FIRST ONE IS THE WINSTON EDUCATION CAMPUS AND THE
FLETCHER JOHNSON CAMPUS, BOTH IN WARD 7. SO TODAY WE ARE ALSO MARKING THE LAUNCH OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR
10-YEAR MASTER FACILITIES PLAN WITH THE RELEASE OF A CITYWIDE
LANDSCAPE OF ALL OF OUR FORMERLY CLOSED DCPS FACILITIES. AND THIS DOCUMENT WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE ON OUR EDUCATION
WEBSITE. BUT WE KNOW THAT’S NOT JUST
ABOUT ACCESS TO FACILITIES THAT MATTERS. WE KNOW THAT OUR CHARTER SCHOOLS ALSO NEED THE FINANCIAL
RESOURCES TO ENSURE ALL OF THEIR STUDENTS HAVE A HIGH QUALITY
LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. THAT’S WHY I’M PLEASED TO
ANNOUNCE THAT IN THIS YEAR’S BUDGET, WE WILL SUBMIT TO THE
COUNCIL, WE WILL INCLUDE A 2.2% ANNUAL INCREASE TO THE
FACILITIES ALLOTMENT. [APPLAUSE] SO WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO
WORKING WITH YOU ON THESE EXCITING NEW CHANGES THAT ARE ON
THE HORIZON FOR OUR PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS. AND SECOND, WE WANT TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR EVERY PARENT TO
CHOOSE A SCHOOL THAT BEST FITS THEIR CHILD’S NEEDS. SO WE ARE OPENING UP CHARTER SCHOOLS TO OPT IN WALKABILITY
PREFERENCE, A POLICY THAT WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR
MORE OF OUR STUDENTS TO ENROLL IN CHARTER SCHOOLS THAT ARE
WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF THEIR HOMES. TO BE CLEAR, THIS WOULD ENABLE A PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL TO OFFER A
PREFERENCE IN ADMISSION TO A CHILD IN AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
GRADE WHO LIVES WITHIN A HALF-MILE OF THAT SCHOOL. IF THE CHILD’S DCPS ZONED SCHOOL IS MORE THAN HALF A MILE AWAY. THIS OPTIONAL PREFERENCE WILL GO INTO EFFECT NEXT YEAR FOR THE
LOTTERY BEGINNING IN 2018 SCHOOL YEAR. LASTLY, THIS WEEK WE ARE UNVEILING NEW TOOLS THAT WILL
PROVIDE MORE TRANSPARENT AND RELIABLE DATA ABOUT OUR STUDENTS
AND OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM AS A WHOLE. [APPLAUSE] THAT’S GOOD. THANK YOU. [LAUGHTER] A COUPLE OF THOSE TOOLS, LET ME
JUST SAY, A RESOURCE IN OUR EDUCATION WEBSITE THAT OUTLINES
SPECIFIC DATA ON STUDENT ENROLLMENT, OUR SCHOOL’S
ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AND STUDENT DEMOGRAPHICS. WE WILL ALSO HELP DISTRICT PARENTS BETTER UNDERSTAND HOW WE
ENSURE OUR STUDENTS’ READINESS FOR KINDERGARTEN. OSSE WILL ISSUE A REPORT ON THE PERFORMANCE OF OUR CITY’S PRE-K
PROGRAMS. AND LATER THIS WEEK, WE WILL
RELEASE A FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF THE DISTRICT
OF COLUMBIA’S COMMUNITY COLLEGE. THIS WILL HELP US DETERMINE THE
KIND OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE OPTIONS OUR CHILDREN NEED, OUR
GRADUATING SENIORS NEED. AND IN THE UPCOMING WEEKS, OUR
OFFICE OF PLANNING WILL OFFER A DETAILED ANALYSIS OF PROJECTED
FUTURE GROWTH IN OUR SCHOOL-AGED POPULATION IN NEIGHBORHOODS
ACROSS THE CITY. SO LET ME JUST SAY I KNOW I HAVE
GIVEN YOU A MOUTHFUL AND IT’S A GOOD THING WE HAVE A FANTASTIC
PUBLIC EDUCATION TEAM TO IMPLEMENT ALL OF THESE CHANGES. AND IT BRINGS ME GREAT PLEASURE NOW TO INTRODUCE OUR LEADER, THE
DEPUTY MAYOR FOR EDUCATION FOR WASHINGTON, D.C., JENNIFER
NILES. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU. THANK YOU, MAYOR, AND GOOD MORNING, EVERYBODY. IT’S JUST WONDERFUL TO BE IN D.C. BILINGUAL AND KNOW THIS IS
GOING TO BE YOUR PERMANENT HOME, SO I COULD NOT BE MORE THRILLED. [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU, MAYOR BOWSER, FOR
YOUR CONTINUED LEADERSHIP AND COMMITMENT TO THE DISTRICT
STUDENTS AND FAMILIES. IN PARTICULAR, YOUR FOCUS ON
COLLABORATION AND PARTNERSHIP ACROSS ALL SECTORS, TO CLOSE THE
OPPORTUNITY GAPS THAT EXIST FOR TOO MANY OF OUR STUDENTS. REFLECT ON HOW FAR WE HAVE COME IN THE NEXT TWO YEARS, I’M
REMINDED BY JUST HOW MUCH WORK WE HAVE AHEAD OF US. BUT WE HAVE THE GREATEST STUDENTS AND FAMILIES ANYWHERE
IN THE COUNTRY AND I’M JUST A LITTLE BIT BIASED. WE HAVE POLITICAL LEADERSHIP AND WILL. WE HAVE INCREDIBLE PARTNERS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE EDUCATION
CLUSTER THAT HOLD US ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT WE DO TO ENSURE THAT
ALL STUDENTS IN ALL SCHOOLS, IN ALL NEIGHBORHOODS HAVE ACCESS TO
GREAT EDUCATION. WITH ALL OF THESE STRENGTHS,
D.C. WILL BE THE PROOF POINT FOR OTHER CITIES AND STATES —
STATEHOOD, WHOO-HOO. STATES. JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU GUYS WERE AWAKE. THAT ALL STUDENTS CAN ACHIEVE GREAT THINGS WHEN THEY HAVE THE
OPPORTUNITY. IN FACT, THERE’S NOTHING
STOPPING US FROM REACHING OUR GOAL AND ENSURING EVERY ONE OF
OUR STUDENTS HAVE A WORLD CLASS EDUCATION. I COMMIT TO YOU TODAY AND I WILL CONTINUE TO DO EVERYTHING IN MY
POWER AS AN ADMINISTRATION TO MOVE FORWARD ON THAT GOAL. IT’S A PRIVILEGE TO STAND BEFORE YOU AS DEPUTY MAYOR FOR
EDUCATION, AN OFFICE ESTABLISHED JUST 10 YEARS AGO. IN THE LAST DECADE WE HAVE SEEN LOTS OF GROWTH. WE HAVE SEEN DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENTS OF OUTCOMES FOR
STUDENTS FROM DCPS. WE HAVE SEEN REMARKABLE GROWTH
AND OUTCOMES FROM OUR PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL SECTOR. WE HAVE SEEN THE MATURATION OF THE OFFICE OF THE STATE
SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN MORE
FOCUSED OR DETERMINED TO ENSURE EDUCATIONAL EQUITY FOR ITS
STUDENTS. WE HAVE HAD GREAT PARTNERSHIP
WITH THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THE CREATION OF THE DEPUTY MAYOR FOR
EDUCATION’S OFFICE. YOU MAY KNOW THAT THE LAW THAT
CREATED ALL OF THOSE ENTITIES WENT INTO EFFECT 10 YEARS AGO
THIS YEAR. BUT IN OUR FIRST TWO YEARS OF
THE BOWSER ADMINISTRATION, WE HAVE MADE GREAT STRIDES TOWARD
COLLABORATION BUT WE ARE NOT DONE YET. LAST WEEK, THE CENTER FOR REINVENTING PUBLIC EDUCATION
RELEASED A REPORT BRIDGING THE DISTRICT CHARTER DIVIDE TO HELP
MORE STUDENTS SUCCEED. AND THEY CALL OUT D.C. IN A
NUMBER OF WAYS IN WHICH WE EXEMPLIFY THE CROSS SECTOR
COLLABORATION. THE REPORT ECHOS OUR BELIEF IN
D.C. THAT COOPERATION OF STUDENTS IN CROSS SECTORS IS A
NECESSITY, NOT A NICETY AND REMINDS US WE HAVE MUCH MORE
WORK TO DO TO FULLY EMBED COLLABORATION INTO HOW WE DO
BUSINESS IN D.C. I’D LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE OUR
FANTASTIC EDUCATION TEAM, SOME OF WHOM ARE HERE TODAY. AND SOME WHO WISH THEY WERE HERE TODAY. [LAUGHTER] WE HAVE OUR STATE SUPERINTENDENT
HANSEUL KANG. WE HAVE OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
OF THE PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD SCOTT PEARSON. [APPLAUSE] WE HAVE KEITH ANDERSON, THE
DIRECTOR OF OUR PARKS AND REC. [APPLAUSE] RICH REYES-GAVILAN, OUR DIRECTOR
OF THE D.C. PUBLIC LIBRARIES. [APPLAUSE] WE HAVE TWO FOLKS WHO COULDN’T
JOIN US TODAY, BUT I KNOW THEY WOULD MUCH RATHER BE HERE THAN
ANYWHERE ELSE WHICH IS INTERIM CHANCELLOR JOHN DAVIS FROM DCPS. [APPLAUSE] AND THE PRESIDENT OF UDC RON
MASON. [APPLAUSE] AS THE MAYOR SAID, OUR VALUES
ARE D.C., OF FAIRNESS, EQUALITY, JUSTICE DEMAND WE DO MORE FOR
OUR STUDENTS. I KNOW THE POLICIES AND
ANNOUNCEMENTS WE ARE SHARING THIS MORNING ARE IMPORTANT
MANIFESTATIONS OF THOSE VALUES. I’M ESPECIALLY PLEASED TO FOCUS
TODAY ON FACILITIES FOR OUR STUDENTS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF
A NEW MASTER PLAN. TODAY WE ANNOUNCED THE
COMMITMENT TO INCREASING THE PER PUPIL FACILITIES ALLOTMENT BUT
ALSO THE AWARD OF TWO BUILDINGS AND THE RELEASE OF TWO MORE. IN ADDITION TO THE ANNOUNCEMENT, I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE
TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE FULL UNDERSTANDING OF OUR
CURRENT AND FUTURE EDUCATIONAL NEEDS. AND THIS IS WHAT THE 10-YEAR MASTER FACILITIES PLAN WILL
CHARGE US TO DO. I WANT TO JUST HIGHLIGHT THE
THINGS WE ARE GOING TO FOCUS ON. WE ARE GOING TO MAKE SURE THE
PLAN ARTICULATES HOW DCPS AND PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS WILL
COORDINATE THE OPENING, CLOSING AND LOCATING OF SCHOOL
FACILITIES IN THE FUTURE WITH THE HELP OF THE CROSS-SECTOR
COLLABORATION TASK FORCE. WE NEED TO DEVELOP PLANS FOR
UNDERUTILIZED FACILITIES. WE NEED TO PRIORITIZE THE 35
DCPS SCHOOLS THAT HAVE ONLY RECEIVED A PHASE 1
MODERNIZATION. WE NEED TO INCLUDE PUBLIC
CHARTER SCHOOLS IN ADDITION TO DCPS IN OUR ANALYSIS AS WE MAKE
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FUTURE FACILITY NEEDS OF OUR CITY. AND WE NEED TO ANTICIPATE THE EDUCATIONAL SEATS WE NEED IN THE
FUTURE BASED ON THE DATA THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE SHARING ON OUR
DEPUTY MAYOR FOR EDUCATION WEBSITE. I LOOK FORWARD TO ENGAGING ALL OF YOU IN THE UPCOMING PLANNING
PROCESS WITH MANY OF THESE AND OTHER CROSS SECTOR EFFORTS. I WANT TO DO TWO QUICK HELLOS. FIRST I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT
WE ACKNOWLEDGE OUR WONDERFUL PRINCIPAL DANIELA FROM D.C.
BILINGUAL. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] AND I’LL ASK HER TO SAY A FEW
WORDS. I’M FIRST GOING TO ASK YOU THE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD SCOTT
PEARSON. AND THEN AFTER THAT, WE’LL HEAR
FROM DANIELA. SO THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU.
AND GOOD MORNING. IT’S A WONDERFUL DAY FOR PUBLIC
EDUCATION. WONDERFUL DAY FOR CHARTER
SCHOOLS. THANK YOU, MAYOR BOWSER. THANK YOU, DEPUTY MAYOR NILES. I’D ALSO LIKE TO RECOGNIZE THE
PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD’S BOARD CHAIR DARREN WOODRUFF WHO
IS HERE WITH US TODAY. [APPLAUSE] FIRST OF ALL, CONGRATULATIONS,
D.C. BILINGUAL. IT IS SO GREAT TO SEE YOU — [APPLAUSE] IT IS SO GREAT TO SEE A TIER 1
SCHOOL HAVE A FOREVER HOME. AS THE MAYOR SAID, PUBLIC
SCHOOLS IN WASHINGTON ARE GETTING BETTER AND THEY ARE
GETTING BETTER BECAUSE WE HAVE GREAT LEADERSHIP IN THIS CITY. GREAT SCHOOL LEADERS. ALL SCHOOL LEADERS, PLEASE RAISE
YOUR HANDS BECAUSE WE HAVE SEVERAL. RICH, YEAH. [APPLAUSE] AND ALSO BECAUSE WE HAVE THE
SUPPORT OF OUR POLITICAL LEADERSHIP, MAYOR BOWSER, DEPUTY
MAYOR NILES, STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION, THE
CITY COUNCIL, THE STATE BOARD, THEY ARE ALL BEHIND GREAT PUBLIC
SCHOOLS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AND, YOU KNOW, THIS MAYOR HAS
BEEN SO SUPPORTIVE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION. BUDGETS ARE HARD THINGS. THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT SHE MADE
TODAY ABOUT INCREASING THE FACILITIES ALLOWANCE, THAT’S
REAL MONEY. AND THAT’S COMING ON TOP OF BIG
INCREASES FROM THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO ARE GROWING AND THE
PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN THE BASE FUNDING. SHE IS MAKING MAJOR COMMITMENTS TO PUBLIC EDUCATION EVERY YEAR. SO THANK YOU. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] AND, YOU KNOW, AS THE MAYOR
SAID, PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE IN THE DISTRICT AND SEND THEIR KIDS TO
PUBLIC SCHOOLS HERE. AND AS A RESULT, WE ARE NOW
ENROLLING 3,000 MORE STUDENTS EVERY SINGLE YEAR IN WASHINGTON,
D.C. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] YOU KNOW, AT THAT RATE, THAT’S 6
OR 8 NEW SCHOOLS EVERY YEAR. AND THAT’S WHY ANNOUNCEMENTS
LIKE TODAY’S ARE SO IMPORTANT. WE NEED TO USE BUILDINGS MEANT
FOR EDUCATING STUDENTS TO DO JUST THAT, RATHER THAN SIT
VACANT. THAT’S PART OF THE WAY WE’RE
GOING TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM. AND SCHOOLS ALSO NEED TO
RENOVATE AND MAINTAIN THEIR BUILDINGS AND THAT’S WHY IT’S SO
IMPORTANT TO SEE THIS FACILITY ALLOWANCE INCREASE. I ALSO WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE AN IMPORTANT MILESTONE THIS WEEK. WE WILL BE JOINED SOON BY A NEW CHANCELLOR OF D.C. PUBLIC
SCHOOLS, ANTWON WILSON. I WANT
TO CONGRATULATE THE MAYOR ON SELECTING SUCH A STRONG, COMMITTED EDUCATOR WHO VALUES
PUTTING STUDENTS FIRST. AND WE IN THE PUBLIC CHARTER
SCHOOL COMMUNITY REALLY LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH HIM TO
ENSURE THAT STUDENTS AND FAMILIES IN OUR GREAT CITY
CONTINUE RECEIVING A QUALITY EDUCATION. YOU KNOW, THE TEAM, THE EDUCATION TEAM WITH THE STATE
SUPERINTENDENT, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, MYSELF, OTHER LEADERS, IS AS
TIGHT AND AS STRONG AS IT’S EVER BEEN. IT’S NEVER BEEN THIS STRONG. AND WE REALLY WELCOME CHANCELLOR
WILSON TO JOIN THAT TEAM AND CONTINUE MAKING PROGRESS FOR
STUDENTS AND FAMILIES. [APPLAUSE] AND THEN, YOU KNOW, FINALLY, I’M
GOING TO GO OFF SCRIPT FOR A SECOND. WE ARE AT D.C. BILINGUAL. THERE ARE A LOT OF IMMIGRANT
FAMILIES IN THIS SCHOOL. AND IN THE FACE OF THE AWFUL AND
PREJUDICIAL ANTI-IMMIGRANT THINGS WE HAVE BEEN SEEING
COMING OUT OF THIS PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION, I JUST WANT TO
THANK THE MAYOR FOR STANDING STRONG WITH IMMIGRANT FAMILIES
DECLARING D.C. A SANCTUARY CITY. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] SO WITH THAT, I WANT TO TURN IT
OVER TO YOUR SCHOOL LEADER, DANIELA ANELLO.>>ALL RIGHT! [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] [SPEAKING SPANISH]
>>THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE WITH US TODAY. SO FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON’T KNOW ME, MY NAME IS DANIELA
ANELLO AND I AM HEAD OF SCHOOL HERE AT D.C. BILINGUAL. WE ARE INCREDIBLY HONORED TO BE ABLE TO HOST OUR MAYOR AND BE
ABLE TO BE THE SITE OF THIS EVENT. AND, OF COURSE, EVEN MORE HONORED TO BE THE SCHOOL
SELECTED FOR THIS INCREDIBLE AWARD. I JUST WANT TO TELL YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR SCHOOL SO THAT YOU
CAN PUT IT ALL IN PERSPECTIVE. OUR SCHOOL HAS AN INCREDIBLY
HARDWORKING COMMUNITY OF STAFF AND BOARD MEMBERS AND PARTNERS
AND FAMILIES. MANY OF THEM ARE HERE IN THIS
ROOM RIGHT NOW. AS A RESULT OF THAT, OUR SCHOOL
IS AMONG THE HIGHEST — THE 10 HIGHEST PERFORMING ELEMENTARY
CHARTERS IN THIS CITY. [APPLAUSE] AND OUR SCHOOL HAS THE HIGHEST
POPULATION OF STUDENTS RECEIVING ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING
SERVICES. [APPLAUSE] OUR SCHOOL WAS FOUNDED IN 2004
WITH A MISSION TO SERVE UNDERPRIVILEGED STUDENTS AND
FAMILIES FROM GRADES PRE-K 3 TO GRADE 5. AND TO ENSURE RIGOROUS INSTRUCTION IN SPANISH AND
ENGLISH FOR ALL STUDENTS REGARDLESS OF THEIR HOME
LANGUAGE OR THEIR BACKGROUND OR ANY CHALLENGES THAT THEY MAY
FACE. AND WE HAVE BEEN VERY
SUCCESSFUL. D.C. BILINGUAL STUDENTS LEARN
LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND VALUES THROUGH THE SCHOOL’S RIGOROUS
CURRICULUM, COMPREHENSIVE ARTS PROGRAM, TECHNOLOGY AND
ATHLETICS PROGRAMS. WE ALSO SHARE A STRONG FOCUS ON
RESPECT FOR ALL CULTURES. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO US TO
EDUCATE OUR STUDENTS TO BECOME LEADERS. AND BECOMING A LEADER FOR US MEANS LEARNING LANGUAGES,
EARNING RESPECT, ACTING RESPONSIBLY AND DOING YOUR BEST. HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF OUR 5th GRADE GRADUATING CLASS GROUP OF
LEADERS. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] THIS IS OUR SECOND YEAR
OPERATING FROM THIS CAMPUS. AND ACCESS TO THIS BUILDING, I
HAVE TO TELL YOU, HAS BEEN INCREDIBLE FOR US. IT HAS IMPROVED OUR PROGRAM SIGNIFICANTLY. FOR THE FIRST TIME, THESE PAST TWO YEARS, WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO
OPERATE OUR SCHOOL HAVING ALL OF OUR STUDENTS UNDER THE SAME
ROOF. BEFORE THAT, WE WERE IN OFFICE
SPACES THAT HAD BEEN CONVERTED INTO CLASSROOMS AND ACROSS TWO
CAMPUSES AND HAD VERY LIMITED OUTDOOR SPACE. WE HAVE INHERITED A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN, OUTDOOR GARDEN. IT’S ACTUALLY THE SECOND LARGEST IN THE CITY OF ANY ELEMENTARY
SCHOOL. [APPLAUSE] AND IT’S INCLUSIVE OF AN
INCREDIBLE KOI FISHPOND, THE ONLY KOI FISHPOND IN ANY
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN THE WHOLE CITY. I INVITE ANYBODY TO STOP BY AND VISIT THE GARDEN ON YOUR WAY OUT
FOLLOWING THE EVENT. WE ALSO ARE INCREDIBLY HAPPY TO
BE ABLE TO OFFER MORE SEATS FOR STUDENTS IN THIS SPACE. WE WERE ABLE TO INCREASE OUR ENROLLMENT TO BE ABOVE 400
STUDENTS. AND OUR STUDENTS ARE
REPRESENTATIVE OF CHILDREN IN ALL OF THE EIGHT WARDS. THE MAJORITY COMING FROM WARD 4 AND WARD 5. WE ARE ALSO INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL FOR THE EASY ACCESS TO PUBLIC
TRANSPORTATION THAT OUR COMMUNITY HAS. THERE ARE SIX BUS LINES THAT STOP DIRECTLY OUTSIDE OF OUR
SCHOOL BUILDING. THERE ARE THREE METRO LINES THAT
ARE WITHIN A SEVEN-MINUTE WALK. AND THEN ON TOP OF THAT, WE EVEN
HAVE ON-SITE PARKING WHICH IS INCREDIBLE. WE ARE ALSO VERY GRATEFUL TO OUR PARKS AND REC DEPARTMENT. WE HAVE A CITY FIELD THAT IS ADJACENT TO OUR SCHOOL. AND WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO USE THAT FOR OUTDOOR PLAY SPACE FOR
ALL OF OUR CHILDREN. AND WE ARE INCREDIBLY TO HAVE
THAT BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR CHILDREN. WE HAVE ALSO MADE A REAL EFFORT TO BECOME FRIENDLY WITH OUR
NEIGHBORS AND BE VERY WELCOMING AND SUPPORTIVE OF THE LOCAL
COMMUNITY. SO ONE TIME PER MONTH, WE HOST
FAMILY FOOD MARKETS, ORGANIZED BY CAPITAL AREA FOOD BANK. AND WE INVITE ALL OF OUR NEIGHBORS AND INTERNAL COMMUNITY
TO COME BY AND PICK UP — WE GET ABOUT 8,000 POUNDS OF FRESH
FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND CANNED GOODS DELIVERED. AND ALL OF OUR COMMUNITY AND LOCAL RESIDENTS CAN PICK UP THIS
FOOD FOR FREE. ON WEEKENDS, WE OPEN OUR DOORS
TO A CONGREGATION THAT MEETS HERE ON SUNDAYS. AND WE ALSO OFFER TWO DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS FREE ENGLISH
LANGUAGE CLASSES FOR ADULTS ON SATURDAYS. WE HOST NEW LEADERS TRAININGS AND GRADUATE SCHOOL COURSES RUN
BY URBAN TEACHERS. AND WE PROVIDE SPACE FOR
ORGANIZATIONS LIKE STICKS AND BARS MARENGA GROUP THAT SERVES
STUDENTS ACROSS THE DISTRICT TO PRACTICE HERE. WE ARE INCREDIBLY PROUD OF THE WORK WE DO HERE AT D.C.
BILINGUAL BUT WE COULDN’T DO IT WITHOUT THE STRONG STEADFAST
SUPPORT OF MANY PEOPLE THAT ARE IN THIS ROOM TODAY. OF COURSE, WE’RE INDEBTED TO THE PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD,
SCOTT PEARSON, OUR OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY MAYOR OF EDUCATION AND
ESPECIALLY TO MAYOR BOWSER FOR YOUR TREMENDOUS SUPPORT OF OUR
SCHOOL ALWAYS. [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU.>>MAYOR: WELL, I WANT TO THANK PRINCIPAL ANELLO AND ALL OF THE
STUDENTS AND STAFF AND THE BOYS AND GIRLS HERE AT D.C.
BILINGUAL, ALSO OUR D.C. PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD FOR ALL OF
YOUR SUPPORT. AND TO THE DEPUTY MAYOR WHO HAS
PLANNED A FANTASTIC WEEK WHERE ALL OF OUR GOVERNMENT IS FOCUSED
ON PUBLIC EDUCATION, THAT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT WE DON’T JUST
FOCUS ON IT IN ONE WEEK, CERTAINLY, BUT WE SPEND A LOT OF
TIME TALKING TO THE COMMUNITY ABOUT WHAT WE ARE DOING IN OUR
SCHOOLS. SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING
HERE. AND I’M HAPPY TO TAKE — ARE WE
TAKING QUESTIONS HERE? OKAY. I’LL TAKE A FEW QUESTIONS FROM OUR GUESTS.>>GUESTS OR THE MEDIA? BIG DIFFERENCE.>>MAYOR: IT DEPENDS. [LAUGHTER]>>MAYOR.>>MAYOR: YES, TOM.>>I HAVE A QUESTION.>>MAYOR: I KNOW THE BOYS AND GIRLS PROBABLY HAVE TO GET BACK
TO CLASS.>>I HAVE A SHORT QUESTION.>>MAYOR: OKAY. [LAUGHTER] ALL RIGHT. WELL, MAYBE YOU CAN HELP ME ANSWER SOME OF THESE QUESTIONS. YES, TOM.>>WE HAVE PERMISSION? OKAY, GOOD. I ACTUALLY HAVE A FOLLOW-UP
QUESTION FOR MR. PEARSON.>>MAYOR: SURE.>>IF YOU COULD COME TO THE MICROPHONE, SIR, THANK YOU. BECAUSE THE MAYOR MAY WANT TO COMMENT, TOO. YOU SPOKE OFF-SCRIPT JUST A MOMENT AGO. WHAT DID YOU MEAN WHEN YOU SAID YOU’D BE STANDING STRONG? THE TRUMP ISSUE.>>I WAS SPECIFICALLY REFERRING
TO THE MAYOR’S REAFFIRMATION OF D.C. AS A SANCTUARY CITY.>>MAYOR: SO LET ME BE CLEAR AND I ESPECIALLY WANT TO THANK THE
SCHOOL COMMUNITIES WHO HAVE REACHED OUT TO US. I THINK WHAT SOME PEOPLE WHO DON’T WORK WITH CHILDREN EVERY
DAY DON’T REALIZE THE TYPE OF ANXIETY THAT THEY HAVE COME TO
SCHOOL WITH. I REALIZED — I WAS AT ANOTHER
BILINGUAL SCHOOL PROBABLY ABOUT A YEAR AGO AT OYSTER ADAMS WHERE
A LITTLE BOY, A 3rd GRADER ASKED ME SOME REALLY POINTED
QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THE ELECTION. AND HE WAS ASKING ME THOSE QUESTIONS BECAUSE HE THOUGHT IT
COULD AFFECT IF HIS FAMILY WOULD BE ABLE TO STAY TOGETHER. AND THIS WAS A 3rd GRADER. AND THAT’S WHEN MY FOCUS ON HOW
CHILDREN WERE TAKING IN INFORMATION BECAME VERY CLEAR. SO WHAT IT MEANS FOR US IN WASHINGTON, D.C. TO BE A
SANCTUARY CITY, IT SIMPLY MEANS THAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS FOR D.C.
RESIDENTS AND WE SERVE D.C. RESIDENTS, REGARDLESS OF
IMMIGRATION STATUS. SO OUR POLICE DEPARTMENT IS NOT
AN AGENT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. AND FAMILIES, REGARDLESS OF THEIR IMMIGRATION STATUS, DON’T
NEED TO FEAR CALLING 311, 911 OR REGISTERING THEIR KIDS IN
SCHOOL. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>MAYOR, BRIEF FOLLOW-UP. I DON’T KNOW IF YOU PUT OUT SOMETHING OVER THE WEEKEND OR
NOT. BUT THE INCIDENTS AT DULLES
AIRPORT AND THE OTHER AIRPORTS AROUND THE COUNTRY WITH THE
HOLDING UP OF GREEN CARD PEOPLE, HAVE YOU PUT OUT ANY THOUGHT ON
THAT THAT I HAVEN’T SEEN?>>MAYOR: TOM, I THINK I WOULD
ASSOCIATE MYSELF WITH THE REMARKS WE HEARD FROM SCOTT. D.C. AND OUR AMERICAN VALUES ARE INCLUSIVE AND WE ARE A NATION
AND COUNTRY OF IMMIGRANTS. BUT MORE THAN THAT, WE ARE A
NATION OF LAWS. AND EVERYBODY IS SUBJECT TO THE
LAW, INCLUDING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. [APPLAUSE] AND SO WE, OF COURSE — THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MANAGING HOW
PEOPLE COME INTO THE COUNTRY. BUT THEY HAVE TO — THEY HAVE TO
DO IT ACCORDING TO THE LAW. YES, MARTIN.>>SO THIS IS GOING TO BE A QUESTION FOR ALL THREE OF YOU. FIVE YEARS AGO WHILE YOU WERE ON THE COUNCIL, THERE WAS A
DISCUSSION AND A DEBATE OVER THE CONCEPT OF NEIGHBORHOOD
PREFERENCE. NOW, THIS IS A MUCH MORE LIMITED
VERSION OF NEIGHBORHOOD PREFERENCE FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS POLICY? DID YOU HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND THIS IDEA THAT CHARTER SCHOOLS
HAVE ALWAYS INSISTED THAT ZIP CODE DOESN’T DETERMINE DESTINY
AND ANYBODY CAN COME FROM ANYWHERE IN THE CITY AND GO TO
THOSE SCHOOLS VERSUS THE REALITY THAT CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE POPPING
UP IN A LOT OF NEIGHBORHOODS? CAN YOU JUST TALK ABOUT THE
BALANCE THAT GOT YOU TO THIS FINAL KIND OF LIMITED POLICY?>>MAYOR: SURE. I THINK YOU PROBABLY KNOW THAT I
HAVE TALKED ABOUT EXPLORING A NEIGHBORHOOD PREFERENCE FOR A
NUMBER OF YEARS. AND IT IS A DELICATE BALANCE. AND I THINK — LET ME STEP BACK BEFORE I COMPLETE — UNTIL I GO
DIRECTLY TO YOUR QUESTION, MARTIN. AND THAT IS, OVER 10 YEARS, OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS, WE HAVE
WORKED VERY HARD TO CREATE THE BALANCE THAT WE HAVE IN THE
PUBLIC EDUCATION SECTOR ACROSS THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. AND THAT BALANCE IS IMPORTANT TO HOW FAMILIES AND CHILDREN
SUCCEED IN D.C. SO ANY CHANGES, ANY TWEAKS OR
RECOMMENDED CHANGES WE HAVE TO APPROACH VERY CAREFULLY. SO I ASKED THE DEPUTY MAYOR TO LOOK AT THE QUESTIONS THAT WE
HAVE GOTTEN AROUND THE CITY FOR PARENTS WHO WANT TO HAVE — WHO
WANT TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO TO A SCHOOL IN THEIR
NEIGHBORHOOD, REGARDLESS OF THE SECTOR. AND ALSO THE IMPACTS THAT THESE CHANGES COULD HAVE ON THIS
BALANCE. AND THE DEPUTY MAYOR LOOKED VERY
CAREFULLY AT THE DATA, AT HOW PEOPLE ARE — THE PREFERENCES
THAT PEOPLE LIST IN OUR LOTTERY PROCESS. AND ALSO WITH THE PARTNERSHIPS THAT WE CAN GAIN WITH OUR
INDEPENDENT LEAs. AND SO THE WALKABILITY
PREFERENCE WE THINK IS VERY IMPORTANT. AND SO WHAT THAT SAYS TO A FAMILY IS IF YOUR INBOUND
NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL IS MORE THAN A HALF-MILE AWAY, WE WANT PUBLIC
CHARTER SCHOOLS TO BE ABLE TO OPT INTO A SYSTEM WHERE THEIR
SCHOOL THEN BECOMES THE — THE CHILD HAS A PREFERENCE TOWARD
ENTERING THAT SCHOOL WHICH IS CLOSER TO THEM.>>DID YOU GUYS GET A SENSE OF HOW MANY STUDENTS MIGHT BE
AFFECTED BY THE POLICY?>>MAYOR: SURE.>>GREAT, YES. WE CALCULATE THAT THERE ARE
ABOUT 10,000 STUDENTS IN THE DISTRICT THAT DO NOT LIVE WITHIN
A HALF-MILE OF THEIR D.C. PUBLIC SCHOOL, BUT HAVE A PUBLIC
CHARTER SCHOOL WITHIN A HALF-MILE. AND SO THEY ARE UP TO 10,000 FAMILIES, DEPENDING ON WHETHER
THE CHARTER SCHOOLS DECIDE TO OPT IN AND ADOPT THIS
PREFERENCE. WHEN RUNNING — AND SO WE THINK
IT WOULD HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT. [INAUDIBLE]
>>IS IT A PREFERENCE OR IS IT A GUARANTEE?>>IT IS JUST A PREFERENCE. IT IS NOT GUARANTEEING A SEAT. AND JUST TO BE CLEAR. THIS WOULD NOT BE IN EFFECT FOR
NEXT YEAR’S SCHOOL YEAR. THIS WOULD GO INTO NEXT YEAR’S
LOTTERY AND TAKE EFFECT THE FOLLOWING YEAR. SO SCHOOL YEAR 18-19.>>MAYOR: THANK YOU, EVERYBODY. THANK YOU. HAVE A GREAT EDUCATION WEEK. [APPLAUSE]

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