When Paul Junior High administrators decided to convert to a charter school, D.C. Public School (DCPS) officials initially scrambled to keep its students within the system (“Throwing Bricks,” 12/10/99). Now, claims Paul Business Manager Bryan Lumpkins, school officials can’t seem to cut loose the school at 8th and Oglethorpe Streets NW soon enough. Over the last few months, school staff have tried unsuccessfully to get DCPS-hired maintenance workers to mow the school’s lawn, says Lumpkins. And last week, Paul staff found they could no longer use DCPS-provided long-distance service, nor connect with the school system’s main computer. “At first, when it was just lawn mowing, I thought it wasn’t a big deal,” says Lumpkins. “Now it seems like they’re going to do one thing at a time, and we’ll come in one day and see the electricity’s been cut off.” Schools spokesperson Mary-Elizabeth Beach says the grass-cutting and phone-service problems are systemwide and have “nothing to do with [Paul] leaving the system.” But she doesn’t know what’s gone wrong with the computers. “We’re on top of that,” Beach says. —Laura Lang

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