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July 16, 2012 / Christian Clansky

Impact investing gaining popularity in the region…Parents say DCPS is forcing special needs students into unprepared schools…William Hite to exit in late September [News, 7.16.12]

PHILANTHROPY | Today’s Capital Business looks at the philanthropic concept of impact investing – investments that serve a social good and generate revenue in return – and how the trend is impacting our region (pun intended).

The Calvert Foundation was an early pioneer of impact investing. President Lisa Hall reflects on the initial reactions to the idea of the foundation looking for returns:

In the early days of Calvert Foundation, we used to get criticized [that we’re] cherry-picking the best deals. My response to that is, ‘Yea, that’s the point. We’re investing in deals that are going to raise money.’

The Nonprofit Roundtable’s Chuck Bean says that impact investing is reshaping the idea of a one-way transaction between funders and nonprofits:

I would say the entire nonprofit community is moving beyond a frame of charity…When nonprofits talk to their funders, they need to make the case for investment not just because it pulls on the heartstrings, but because there’s a social return on investment.

Related: Funders – WRAG is partnering with Arabella Advisors for a session in impact investing on our region. Learn more and RSVP here.

MENTAL HEALTH | Due to inadequate capacities within the school system, DCPS sends a huge portion of its special needs students to private schools that can better serve them. Mayor Gray has sought to curb this trend by improving services within the system and has issued a target of halving the number of students in private schools by 2014. Some parents are claiming that DCPS is forcing their kids into public schools that still can’t handle them just to meet the goal. (Examiner, 7/16)

EDUCATION | Prince George’s County Schools Superintendent William Hite will leave his job on Sept. 30th – more than a month after the new year begins. (WTOP, 7/16)

HIV/AIDS | Virginia’s health department says that it will eliminate a backlog of low-income residents waiting for HIV medication. Residents on the waiting list are expected to be fully enrolled by Sept. 30th. (WTOP, 7/16)

TRANSIT | On two separate occasions this weekend, Metro’s entire train system shut down for up to 30 minutes and left passengers stuck in trains due to a software glitch. The cause of the glitch? Metro has no clue. (WaPo, 7/16) Beyond being terrible service to paying customers, that simply doesn’t seem safe.

POLITICS | Here’s the latest from Shadow Campaigngate. Defying calls for his resignation, Mayor Gray sat down for an interview with Channel 8 where he blasted councilmembers for criticizing him. He said that Catania is a secret Republican, Bowser wants to be mayor, and Cheh – well, he’s just upset that she doesn’t have his back.

When asked whether he should have paid more attention to what was going on during the campaign – i.e. who was working for him, where his money was coming from, whether or not some of his advisers were untrustworthy criminals – he responded that he was too busy being council chairman. (WaPo, 7/13) So, where does the buck stop then?

On the flip side, GGW’s David Alpert penned an op-ed for the Post that points out the positive things the Gray administration has done for the District so far. (WaPo, 7/15)

The Huffington Post sure has a strange range of content. I thought this post was amusing though – politicians who look like Disney characters. I wonder how Rep. Grace Napolitano feels about being likened to The Little Mermaid’s villain, Ursula? Poor, unfortunate soul!

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