Sunday, November 05, 2006

DC Teaching Fellows aren't being reimbursed

Looks like there is more controversy surrounding the DC Teaching Fellows program. This time around it appears as if the teachers who have enrolled in the program are not being reimbursed for the money they have had to spend on classes needed for certification.
Lured by a well-designed Internet campaign and slick Web site, the 2005 fellows class survived a competitive application process and rigorous six-week training program to secure a slot. Under their contract, in addition to receiving starting teacher salary and benefits, up front payments for graduate classes would be repaid within one semester.

One fellow, Resheeda Hinkson, negotiated a mortgage with that assurance in hand.

But the Trinity students were told, via an Oct. 17 e-mail from a D.C. Teaching Fellows manager, that "budget resources" were unavailable and therefore the reimbursement checks have been "delayed indefinitely." An Oct. 18 letter from Tony Demasi, DCPS executive director for human resources, confirmed that "budget constraints" had pushed back payments.

The problems have left the fellows angry, cash-poor and cynical.

"I came from my previous experience working on financial corruption in the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip," said Ghassan Haddad, 31. "My experience with DCPS has left me more depressed, more frustrated, than being there."
More here.

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