Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans supports D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson's move to consolidate and reorganize the District's public schools. Henderson proposed the closure of 20 D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) in six wards, Tuesday.
"We need to close schools. We need to close lots of schools," said Evans in an interview with Patch.
Two of the 20 schools are in Ward 2. Garrison Elementary would be closed and children would be moved to either Seaton Elementary School (Ward 2) or Marie Reed Elementary School (Ward 1). Francis Stevens Education Campus currently serves children K-8, the would also be reassigned to Seaton, Marie Reed and for older children, to Hardy Middle School.
“To achieve our goals of a great school for every single student, we have to use all of our resources well – every dollar, every building, and every minute of instructional time. As our schools are currently organized, we can’t achieve our goals,” said D.C. Public School Chancellor Kaya Henderson in a press release announcing the closure list.
Commuity members are already raising alarm about the Garrison closure.
In an interview with Patch Tuesday, Jack Jacobson, the newly elected Ward 2 representative on the D.C. State Board of Education, said he was "shocked" that Garrison was on the list.
"The PTA has worked so hard to bring the entire community together to support the school. And they've begun to show progress. Couple that with a brand new Principal who has energized students and faculty, and it’s really disappointing," he said.
Evans said about Garrison, "My suggestion was, I would have kept Garrison and closed Seaton."
Seaton was recently renovated, Garrison's turn was to be soon.
As for the Francis Stevens Education Campus, Evans was critical that DCPS called it a closure. He questioned if there would be any costs saved since the campus would become part of the School Without Walls.
Evans said he hopes that at the end of this "exercise" DCPS saves money.
For Evans the top priorities for any cost savings are "librarians, art teachers, music teachers and PE teachers." He recently proposed legislation that would mandate that each school in the District have such resources available.
The District Council will hear testimony about the proposed closures Thursday from members of the community.
The DCPS website lists several ways in which parents and the community can provide feedback: