“Foundations urged to drop jitters over public-policy work” [News, 5/7]

“Foundation boards are far too timid about trying to influence lawmakers, mistakenly fearing it would jeopardize their tax-exempt status…” (Chronicle Summit blog, 5/6). If you couldn’t go to the Summit but want to know what you’re missing, start with TacticalPhilanthropy.com. (Don’t miss the “failure is fine” post.)

HEALTH
CareFirst: D.C. universal health care plan ‘isn’t financially sustainable’ (WBJ, 5/6)

Note to WG members:
At the Public Education Working Group meeting last week, Abigail Smith, who directs the DCPS high school transformation work presented the top DCPS priorities over the next five years. The presentation, distributed to all WG members, was an informal sharing of a ‘working document’ — not a formal announcement or final plan ready for wide distribution. Sharing the draft was part of the Chancellor’s effort to get feedback from the community. Please send your thoughts and questions to Lucretia Murphy (lmurphy@jff.org), WG consultant for the working group. We will compile the comments and circle back with Ms. Smith. A conference call will be set up to share any feedback we receive.

EDUCATION
DC Schools-“The decision to close Stevens illustrates how Rhee’s operating style both inspires and alienates.” (WaPo, 5/7) – At Stevens, “just 27 percent of the students tested at proficient or better on the DC-CAS math exam last year…” Rhee: “These decisions [to close schools] were not made about real estate and development…You can choose to believe me or not to believe me.”  (I believe her.)
To Save Money, Some Schools In Region Plan Bigger Classes (WaPo, 5/7)
– @WG: May 19 – “The Effect of New DCPS Policies on Out-of-School-Time Programs”

CORPORATE
Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce.com: “Too many corporate philanthropic efforts occur in isolation, with little relationship to their community, employees, or corporate missions.” (HuffPo, 5/6)

PEOPLE
[Md.] Elected to take David Harrington’s seat on the Pr. George’s County council, Andrea Harrison “campaigned on a promise to continue Harrington’s community outreach efforts.” (WaPo, 5/7) – One such effort was the Partnership for Prince George’s County.

ENVIRONMENT
With eye on future, Md. goes green despite tight budget (Examiner, 5/7)

BUDGET
DC shortfall grows as projected revenues fall again. (WaPo, 5/7)

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@ WG:
– May 15:
 
When the Giving Gets Tough: Corporate Giving in Today’s Economy
– May 16: HWG presents: In Sickness and in Wealth