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D.C. Council Moves To Fund Education Ombudsman

Catania wants parents to have an advocate within the D.C. public school system.
Jared Angle
Catania wants parents to have an advocate within the D.C. public school system.

The D.C. public school bureacracy can be intimidating for any parent to face down, but now the D.C. Council is moving to create an advocate for parents and students within the system itself.

As part of the broader education budget for the coming fiscal year, today a D.C. Council committee voted to fund the Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education, a position created by the 2007 law authorizing mayoral control of the schools but that has remained vacant since 2008. The office, which the council moved from under the Deputy Mayor of Education to the State Board of Education late last year, will receive just over $279,000 in funding.

According to Council member David Catania (I-At Large), the committee's chairman, the ombudsman will serve to hear concerns and complaints about the school system from parents, students and advocates. If it receives the approval of the full council next month, the ombudsman will take office in January 2014.

The budget also directs $2.3 million towards seven schools that lost more than five percent of their budgets due to enrollment decreases, puts money into funding full-time librarians in all schools and expands summer school options for students.

NPR

At 81, Disney's First African-American Animator Is Still In The Studio

First hired in the 1950s, Floyd Norman is still drawing. "Creative people don't hang it up," he says. "We don't walk away, we don't want to sit in a lawn chair. ... We want to continue to work. "
NPR

America's Real Mountain Of Cheese Is On Our Plates

To help dairy farmers hurt by a glut, the USDA said this week it'll buy $20 million worth of cheese and give it to food banks. But we eat so much of the stuff, that's hardly a drop in the bucket.
WAMU 88.5

Friday News Roundup - International

Italy searches for survivors after a devastating earthquake. Turkey escalates its role in the fight against ISIS. And Colombia and the FARC rebels sign a peace treaty ending a half-century-long guerrilla war. A panel of journalists joins guest host Derek McGinty for analysis of the week's top international news stories.

NPR

WhatsApp Will Start Sharing Data, Including Phone Numbers, With Facebook

It will also test new ways for businesses to communicate with users on the app. The privacy policy changes mark the long-expected move by Facebook to begin making money from the free app.

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