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Alexandria Debates The Need For New Schools

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Interim Council member Sekou Biddle is hoping to make it easier for local businesses to report truants.
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Interim Council member Sekou Biddle is hoping to make it easier for local businesses to report truants.

Kerry Corso is a speech pathologist at Maury Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., where she works in a room that's: "As a teacher earlier today said, 'Oh, my walk-in closet is almost this size."

Maury and every other school in the city is bursting at the seams. That's why Superintendent Morton Sherman is asking for $164 million to build four new elementary schools.

"If you build it, they will come," says Maury's principal, Lucretia Jackson.

But City Manager Jim Hartmann's budget set aside half that amount. Budget Director Bruce Johnson says there's no reason to believe current enrollment trends will continue.

"Well, we're not sure to what exactly we attribute the growth in enrollment over the last four years. We need to understand that better in order to project what might happen in the future," he says.

Members of the Alexandria City Council will have the final say when they vote for a budget.

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