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DC School Protest

The District of Columbia student body government is calling on DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to answer questions about the massive faculty layoffs that took place Friday.

Over 200 DC students skipped class yesterday to protest against D.C. Schools Chancellor, Michelle A. Rhee's decision to cut nearly 400 staff members, including 229 teachers, according to the Washington Post. Rhee has said the "layoffs are necessary to close a $43.9 million gap in the fiscal 2010 budget that was triggered by a round of mid-summer spending cuts by the D.C. Council." In addition to the budget cuts, Rhnee's primary focus is to increase the quality of education in DC public schools, by dismissing the instructors that add the least value and award the good instructors with more money.

While this plan is a noble effort to transform and save DC schools, Rhnee's tactics are considered harsh and irrational. Students from the affected high schools, especially graduating seniors from Mckinley High, say the numbers don't add up and the wrong faculty members were fired.

Among the 15 McKinley staff members dismissed, were two popular guidance counselors, Sheila Gill and Rhonda Robinson. Students say Gill and Robinson were helping them prepare for college and with admission deadlines only a month away, what are they left to do?

The mayor has yet to make a public address and students are using every resource possible to get his attention. Hopefully he and Rhnee are working to devise a plan that will restore order in DC schools, and provide the students with the education they deserve.