Profit Motive Trumps Need for 2 Catholic Orgs in DC
As if shifting to government the cost of educating children in their parochial schools isn't enough, now the Archdiocese of Washington is trying to maximize their real estate profits at the expense of low-income infants and toddlers in Trinidad.
Last fall, the archdiocese discovered that getting out of the business of educating kids in DC can be very profitable.
As landlords to these 7 campuses, it must be nice to suddenly sit back and receive great rents from the now-flush-with-cash Center Cities Public Charter Schools that operate in the buildings. Well, it is so nice they would like more.
The Archdiocese and Catholic Charities are ending the Model Cities Center on 6/30/09, stating it is not in line with their mission. Model Cities Center is a mixed-income infant and toddler development center that has been operating in that location for over 40 years. It is one of only three Child Development Associate training sites in the District, the only one in Northeast. It provides caring infant care for a mix of full payers and subsidized payers in the community for 70 children. 20 caring staff will be out of a job on 7/1/09. Why? Because Center Cities Public Charter School next door wants to get in on the pre-K cash explosion! Out with the labor-intensive (pun-intended) infants and toddlers, and in with the profitable 3,4, and 5 year olds!
Center Cities can expand their pre-K into any of the many newly vacant school buildings in Ward 5. But the Archdiocese of Washington, the building's owner, would like them to expand into this building because the pre-K cash translates into huge rent payments, to the tune of $20,000 per month, I've been told. Model Cities currently pays $900; an admittedly low amount which they have offered to increase.
Quality care for infants is more scarce than almost anything in this city. Why cannibalize a great program for a good program in this real estate crisis? Center Cities PCS: Go expand for pre-K somewhere else! Archdiocese, please allow Model Cities Center to continue doing the good it has been doing for over 40 years!