RALLY To SAVE Bruce-Monroe Elementary

FENTY & RHEE:

Enough of Your Broken Promises!

Join Bruce-Monroe Parents & Community to

Protest the Mayor’s “Developers Meeting” & Demand:

Rebuild Bruce-Monroe

Elementary As Promised!

RALLY & PICKET

TUESDAY, AUG 10TH

9:30 – 11:00 AM

2801 Georgia Ave, NW

WE DEMAND THAT THE MAYOR:

Withdraw the Request for Proposals (RFP)!

The RFP includes an option for “commercial only” development – a violation of the community’s trust. THIS IS A SCHOOL SITE, and the RFP is a clearly a set-up to have this “prime real estate” fall into private hands.

Show us the Money

Rhee says there is $20.3 million for rebuilding the school, but its not showing up on budget sheets. We demand the money be set-aside in a separate account, and that the city find the rest of the money that will be needed to build the school from city sources.

Rebuild Bruce-Monroe

Do what a city should do – rebuild its schools with no public-private partnership, no commercial element – just a neighborhood public school, with school grounds, funded by tax dollars, as promised.

DID you know?

· Bruce-Monroe was fully enrolled and was not a failing school

· The School was one of only two dual Spanish/English language programs in DCPS

· The school was closed under an agreement that it would be rebuilt by fall 2011

· Now Fenty says there is no money, and they are offering the site for private development!

· Don’t be fooled – the playground on the Bruce-Monroe site is temporary – until the city can try to give the land away.

Background Info:

When Bruce-Monroe Elementary School at Georgia Ave and Irving Street, NW was added to the Mayor’s School closing list, parents and teachers rallied to save their school. Rallying was not new to them; unfortunately they had been forced to organize for years for needed improvements. A beloved, highly successful neighborhood school that was meeting AYP, fully enrolled and had an active parent base, parent leaders successfully got Bruce Monroe off the closing list – only to fall prey to what turned out to be the first in a series of cruel tricks and broken promises by the Fenty Administration.

Bruce-Monroe was closed two years ago with a promise that students would be returning to a new state-of-the-art school at their original site by fall 2011. Parents organized in good faith, meeting each week to stay informed about the city’s latest plans and promises, while simultaneously advocating for desperately needed improvements to their interim site, Park View, a 90+ year old building with serious plumbing and pest issues.

After sitting vacant for two years, the city announced that the school would not be rebuilt as scheduled, there was not enough money to move forward, and instead it would be replaced with an “interim use” while a “public-private partnership” could be brokered.

In April, Bruce-Monroe was demolished and quickly replaced with a $1.5-2 million “interim-use” – basketball courts, tennis courts, and play ground equipment. Shortly thereafter, the city released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the site. Parents were shocked to see that it included two development options: (1) School and Commercial or (2) Commercial Only. The inclusion of an option for commercial development, with no school at all, was yet another broken promise for parents, teachers and community members who had repeatedly met with the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development and Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham to discuss the RFP, during which the option was never mentioned. Parents now see it as yet another set-up, paving the way for the administration to give the site to favored developers for private development.

Over the past ten years Teaching for Change has been instrumental in organizing the Bruce-Monroe community as it waged its ongoing battles for a proper educational facility. Yet again, the parent leaders of Bruce-Monroe Elementary School have suffered the blow of broken promises from an administration that lacks integrity and continues to issue empty promise to this school community. Clearly the Fenty administration has no respect for real parental involvement in the decision making process around the schools, nor is he concerned with disrupting the education of low and moderate income students. As such, the parents of Bruce-Monroe have adjusted their tactics. The parents have now officially joined the city-wide organizing project Empower DC, and will work with their People’s Property Campaign.

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