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Mayor Adrian Fenty isn’t going to shy away from calling on the private sector to step up in his schools-improvement efforts.

And his timing couldn’t be better.

At a press conference today announcing his school-takeover transition plan, Fenty indicated that he is inviting private companies to participate in what he called “buff and scrub” operations—-small-scale building-spruce-up projects that would be sponsored by a local firm.

Good for Fenty.

The business community has been bitching about the sorry state of the D.C. schools for years, but the only effort to raise taxes for school improvements was blocked by industry lobbyists. So the mayor is asking the business community to put its money where its mouth is.

The buff-and-scrub services would presumably be donated primarily by developers. You know—-the same companies that will be bidding on nearly a billion dollars in District-funded school-modernization projects.

Fenty says the company’s payments in-kind will be completely transparent. At this point, he envisions company donations appearing on the mayor’s Web site.

It would be difficult to imagine that the list won’t serve another purpose: What company president in their right mind would bid on the big school-improvement contracts if they haven’t contributed to the mayor’s school effort?