Loose Lips

Gray Accuses Bowser, Catania of Politicizing School Boundaries Plan

Vince Gray just settled on the school boundaries changes last week, and already the councilmembers who want to succeed him have announced they'd like to either delay his plan or scrap it altogether.

But the lame-duck mayor isn't going without a fight—or at least some harsh words. This morning, Gray accused Muriel Bowser and David Catania todays of sacrificing good school policy on the altar of their mayoral ambitions.

“I hope that people will resist the opportunity to demagogue this issue and will actually engage in something that’s hugely important for our families and our children," Gray told reporters.

Gray was especially tough on Democratic mayoral nominee Bowser, who told the Washington Post in a Tuesday interview that she likely wouldn't involve D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson in her own boundary-change process if she's elected mayor. Gray called excluding Henderson "a very unwise move," and contrasted it with Bowser's support for keeping Henderson in charge of schools.

"I believe she was the one who asked the chancellor to stay, too, so I don’t understand that," Gray said.

Gray says that neither Catania or Bowser contacted him about the boundary changes—although LL will note that their positions on the proposals haven't exactly been a secret. Gray wondered aloud why Bowser didn't talk about his decision when he saw her Saturday at a school beautification event.

“No councilmember has brought up anything with me," Gray said. "And that is not for lack of opportunity."

Catania campaign manager Ben Young declined to comment. In an email to LL, Bowser spokesman Joaquin McPeek says that Bowser's position has been public for months.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • drez

    I will be so glad when Gray is gone.
    To hell with what he thinks at this point.

  • Rob

    @drez...and I'm sure that we will be saying the same about Bowser (should she get elected)on or around January 3, 2015.

  • Peter Rosenstein

    I respect the Mayor and all he has done for the District. The government is functioning better than it ever has before and the finances of the District are the envy of most other states and cities.

    But I am sure he understands the issues surrounding school boundaries when they come up only ten weeks before an election. Neither candidate wants to give the other an opportunity to open up a major issue of contention.

    I believe that if Muriel Bowser is elected she will move on boundaries in her first year understanding that taking this issue out of the Mayoral election cycle is crucial. Her suggesting that Kaya Henderson shouldn't be involved was a way to say she wants to keep Henderson out of the politics of this. Let people get mad at the Mayor but not the Chancellor who will continue to work on education reform.

    Yes Bowser has said she will keep Henderson and I applaud her for that and the fact that she recognizes the mistakes that Fenty made bringing Rhee into the politics of every situation. Bowser will work with Henderson and take the heat letting Henderson focus on what is happening in the schools.

  • http://www.foshagerformayor.com Ben Foshager

    It was his decision to make. Thankfully, our kids will still get educated regardless of the boundaries.

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