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Fenty To Defend Budget, Education Spending In Front Of Council

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By Peter Granitz

Mayor Adrian Fenty will testify before the D.C. Council today about his proposed budget. Meanwhile, Council Chairman Vincent Gray says he’ll press Fenty about money for education.

Marlene Ramirez attends Bell Multicultural High school. She says two weeks ago a teacher did not have enough of a specific book for the entire class. The teacher told her the book was available online.

“But you have to pay $6.00 for the book. If the school is giving the book to us, then why do we have to pay for it when they have to provide it for us?,” asks Ramirez.

Ramirez shared her story with the council at a monthly youth hearing meeting. Chairman Gray says the Council already invests heavily in education, more than one billion dollars a year.

“And apparently more money is going to be invested next year. And when you hear students say things like they don’t have text books, that the books they have may be outdated or worn and tattered, we need to get at how the money is being used,” says Gray.

Fenty’s proposed budget would increase funding per student by $175. Gray, the leading contender for Fenty’s job, says he needs to know where that money comes from.

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