In search of $30 million in overspending
When District CFO Natwar M. Gandhi told Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee that the $34 million surplus she thought she had didn't exist, he also said DCPS had overspent its budget by an estimated $30 million. About $20 million was in central operations, he said in his April 15 letter, and about $10 million was spread across categories called "Special Pay," "Overtime" and the always popular "Other Items." The letter offered no details.
I assumed that by now, DCPS would have a more detailed idea of what Gandhi was talking about. But Rhee spokeswoman Jennifer Calloway and her boss, Marrianne McMullen, said they had nothing. Same for mayoral flak Mafara Hobson. Calloway and McMcMullen both referred me to Gandhi flak David Umansky, who declined to comment.
George Dines, the school system finance officer who is in the middle of this mess, continued his no-response policy.
Gandhi and Rhee are scheduled to testify before the D.C. Council on Friday. But Gandhi, who would not comment for the a story I did Sunday on the financial disarray, is due to appear Wednesday before the council's finance and revenue committee, chaired by Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2). While it's supposed to be a hearing about Gandhi's agency budget, it's good bet that Evans will have some questions for him about DCPS.
Update 9 p.m.: Umansky says an accounting of the overspending may be available Tuesday.
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