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Posted at 5:20 PM ET, 09/17/2009

The Same Story in D.C.

By Valerie Strauss

Here we go again: The D.C. school system starts the new year with high hopes, and in just a few weeks questions are raised about suspicious erasures on standardized test scores, and, now, there are budget problems that may force teacher layoffs.

Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee says the city’s financial troubles will force her to cut as much as $40 million in spending by the end of October.

My colleague Bill Turque also reported that Rhee said that she did not expect any disruptions to major academic programs or course offerings--but that some teachers will lose their jobs and some classes will get bigger.

Teachers leaving while school is in session sounds like something of a a disruption to the students, but never mind.

The budget cuts may turn out to be less than $40 million--but the exact number is beside the point. The city has been dealing with financial troubles for much of this year. So who in the city government could have and should have foreseen this financial situation in time to stop principals from filling teacher vacancies this past summer and making other decisions that may now have to be reversed?

Rhee? Mayor Adrian Fenty? Deputy Mayor for Education Victor Reinoso? D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray? Any of them? All of them?

Maybe somebody out there can tell me.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 17, 2009; 5:20 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Schools  | Tags:  chancellor michelle a. rhee, d.c. schools, mayor adrian fenty  
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Comments

Hmmm, I'm not an authority, just a DCPS parent. I think Rhee is responsible.

I have an idea though to save one teacher's position. Cut Rhee's driver and her salary by 10%--that gives you around $70k. That would put children first, right? And this is always about the kids first, right?

Posted by: Title1SoccerMom | September 17, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Do you seriously not have a clue about Rhee's RIF? Is the wash post just in denial? It is obvious now that Chairman Gray made is public statement about it, but it was also obvious from the beginning that Rhee orchestrated the whole thing as an excuse to get rid of the teachers without due process and tenure protections. It would be great if the education section of the post was a little more critical in its analysis. There is no budget cut (per Chairman Gray's response) AND Rhee continues to spend money indiscriminately. Today every teacher received their 2009-2010 Evaluation Guide in the form of a full color professional bound 68+page book costing at least $40,000 (every teacher got one!). This replaces the annual xeroxed black and white evaluation guide we got every year in the past. But, of course, our Chancellor is all about appearances and press releases which the Washington Post is very good at helping her with!

Posted by: mfalcon | September 17, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

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