Funding Still Being Sought for D.C.’s Public Schools

WASHINGTON-The District of Columbia’s public schools might not receive all of their proposed funding. Mayor Anthony Williams is not endorsing a $1 billion bond issuance because he says the city has enough debt.

District Council member Adrian Fenty proposed authorizing a $1 billion bond to overhaul the district’s neglected schools and then repaying the debt using $60 million from D.C. Lottery sales. The mayor’s office, however, said that arrangement would not work because the lottery money is committed to the city’s general fund. The mayor is unwilling to incur more debt, but is willing to consider additional school financing methods.

Council member Fenty is disappointed that his bill has been rebuffed, and thinks that if the city can borrow money to fund a new baseball stadium, there certainly should be allowances for borrowing money to fund overdue school maintenance and repairs.