Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

E-mail Bill | RSS Feed | In-depth coverage: Education Page | Follow The Post's education coverage: Twitter | Facebook

"Significant progress" in contract funding

There's movement tonight in attempts to close a yawning gap in the financing for the proposed teachers contract. District officials hope to have a proposal that will pass muster Friday with the city's chief financial officer, his spokesman said.

David Umansky said school officials have promised to provide "new numbers" in time for Gandhi to present his analysis to the D.C. Council Friday morning. Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is scheduled to testify following Gandhi.

"There has been significant progress in closing the funding gap in the contract and the DCPS spending pressures," Umansky said.

The Fenty administration had to scramble when Gandhi rejected a plan to use about $21 million in private foundation funds for teacher salaries promised in a proposed new labor contract. The foundations said in letters to the District that they reserved the right to cut off funding if there was a change in leadership of the school system or annual growth in student test scores did not meet predicted levels.

Gandhi told city officials that money for the salaries contract must be "without condition," meaning either local or federal dollars.

Details of the solution being crafted by the District remained unclear late Thursday. But a key figure in coordinating the foundation funding revealed that if the contract is ratified by the union and the council, the $21 million in private donations earmarked for teacher pay would flow to the District in the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
It means that the city would have to provide interim public financing for just a few months before the foundation money is in hand. Those public funds could then be reprogrammed by the council for other uses.

Cate Swinburn, president and executive director of the D.C. Public Education Fund, the non-profit set up by Fenty supporters to funnel private support for public schools, also said in a letter to The Post that the Sept. 14 mayoral primary "will occur after the private funds have been received by the District." That means that even if Rhee leaves because her boss, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, is defeated, the teachers will still have their money.

The mayor and chancellor must also replace the $34 million that Gandhi disallowed on April 15 because it was not a "surplus" as Rhee characterized it for D.C. Council. While the budget indicated that expenditures for teacher salaries were running under anticipated levels, Gandhi told Rhee that the gain was offset by about $30 million in overspending on unspecified overtime and central office operations.

Follow D.C. Schools Insider every day at
And for admissions advice, college news and links to campus papers,
please check out our new Higher Education page at
Bookmark it!


By Bill Turque  |  April 29, 2010; 7:11 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: ISO: A CFO for Michelle Rhee
Next: Election flap pits Saunders against Parker, AFT


I'll bet there's movement tonight!

It took 2 plus years to get a tentative agreement, less than 3 weeks for the various funds needed to certify it to disappear, and it will take just two days for the funds to reappear again, due to very, very, swift movement.

The question is - will Gandhi fall for it?

Posted by: efavorite | April 29, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

What a joke. The only people who will be willing to believe that Fenty and Rhee "came up" with the necessary funds will be the Washington Post editorial board and the die-hard Rheephiles. The rest of us know that this is a con game being played out right in front of our eyes. Down 34, up 29, down 30, up 50. They must really believe we are that stupid.

Posted by: adcteacher1 | April 29, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

According to Fenty and Rhee, they have been making significant progress from the moment she arrived. Legends in their own minds. A miracle in a day after two years of crap? Don't bend Ghandi! Stand tall!

Posted by: candycane1 | April 30, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company