Local: Education

Lawmakers cut $16m from Malcolm X renovation

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Local,DC,Education,Rachel Baye,David Catania

A panel of D.C. lawmakers on Thursday voted to cut nearly $16 million from a proposed renovation of Malcolm X Elementary School, a move that schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson warned would be "detrimental" to the school's planned partnership with Achievement Preparatory Academy Public Charter School.

Henderson announced the partnership as a way to avoid closing the under-enrolled elementary school in June as originally planned.

Several details of the partnership have not been worked out, and nothing has been committed to writing, according to Shantelle Wright, Achievement Prep's founder and head of school.

Under Henderson's plan, current Malcolm X students would move to Green Elementary School with Achievement Prep students in kindergarten through third grade while the Malcolm X building undergoes a $21.9 million renovation in the 2013-2014 school year. Malcolm X students would return to their building in the following year, the first year in which the school would be run by both Achievement Prep and DCPS.

The amendment passed Thursday by the D.C. Council's Education Committee shifts all but $6 million of the proposed $21.9 million to other school renovation projects.

Though committee Chairman David Catania supports the idea of the merger, "the committee is faced with the prospect of spending $21 million on a concept while we need modernizations at schools with students in them today," said spokesman Ben Young.

rbaye@washingtonexaminer.com

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