Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Disappearing, Reappearing D.C. Schools Budget Deficit

It's enough to make your head spin. First the D.C. Schools have a serious budget deficit and must lay off teachers. Then they don't have a deficit at all, and can use the money to fund their new teacher contract. Next thing you know, after a lot of (justified) criticism over what is at best fiscal ineptitude, the deficit has reappeared.

This raises the obvious question of whether D.C. can presently afford its new proposed teacher contract, even with the private contributions that are necessary to carry it through its first five years. Meanwhile, the litigation that this type of budget ineptitude made inevitable is under way.

Inevitably, the Washington Post is concerned with "saving" the new contract. But if the contract can't be certified as financially viable by C.F.O. Natwar M. Gandhi, it's a dead letter.

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