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DCPTA offers advocacy training to public

(Published December 2, 2002)

Parents and others who want to learn how they can be better advocates for improving the D.C. Public Schools system can pick up some free pointers at a workshop sponsored by the D.C. Congress of Parents and Teachers Associations.

The three-hour session will begin at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10 in the fifth floor board room at school headquarters, 825 North Capitol St. NE. Light refreshments will be available.

The session is intended to teach concerned citizens how to lobby and make their voices heard during crafting of the budget for the 2003-2004 school year, according to Larry Gray, legislative chairman for the DCPTA.

The D.C. Board of Education began holding public meetings last month to seek suggestions for the fiscal 2004 budget.

Superintendent Paul L. Vance is scheduled to present his proposed fiscal 2004 operating budget to the school board on Dec. 2. Vanceís budget is expected to focus on specific initiatives and to expand his "transformation" program for improving low-performing schools.

The school board has scheduled a final public hearing on the fiscal 2004 operating budget for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at Ballou Senior High School, 3401 Fourth St. SE.

The board will hold a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in the fifth floor board room at school headquarters, 825 North Capitol St. NE, to vote on the proposed budget. The budget then goes to the mayor and the D.C. Council, which will hold public hearings before incorporating the schools budget into the cityís overall fiscal 2004 budget. The council generally must approve the cityís budget by June and forward it to Congress, which due to its constitutional authority over the District of Columbia must give final approval to all D.C. government spending.

Congress has yet to approve the Districtís budget for fiscal 2003, which began on Oct. 1.

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator