February 4, 2020
Today, the DC Council failed by one vote to pass emergency legislation to keep Washington Metropolitan Opportunity Academy (Washington Met) open. When I decided to introduce this emergency legislation, I knew that overturning the Mayor and Chancellor’s decision to close Washington Met would be an uphill battle. Nevertheless, I also understood that these students, who did such an amazing job of fighting for themselves, deserved to have their elected officials advocate for them as well. I also knew that Washington Met had been stripped of the resources it needed to succeed. I remain incredibly concerned about the future of students who have unique challenges in traditional learning environments.
Although our bill was not successful, we were able to shine a light on the steps that the Mayor and Chancellor should be taking to support Washington Met students and ensure that these students do not fall through the cracks. As the legislative branch, we must hold the Mayor and Chancellor accountable with continuous oversight.
I would like to thank the Washington Met students and teachers for tirelessly advocating for their school. Thank you to the State Board of Education, the Ward 1 Education Council and the Washington Teachers’ Union for their leadership in supporting the Washington Met community. Finally, thank you to my colleagues, Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau and Trayon White for co-introducing this bill, as well as Mary Cheh, Charles Allen, Elissa Silverman and Vincent Gray for their strong advocacy to save and support Washington Met.
My frustration with this vote is tempered by my pride in watching students fight for their future. They refuse to be counted out.