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Noah Wepman speaks!

Ever since his abrupt departure from District government last fall, following a bitter debate over the financial basis for Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's decision to lay off 266 teachers, former DCPS chief financial officer Noah Wepman has politely declined interview requests.

It was Wepman who acknowledged to the D.C. Council at a rancorous Oct. 29 hearing that he never told his boss, District Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi, about millions in "spending pressures" in the 2010 schools budget that helped drive the layoffs. Wepman never got around to disclosing the problems to Gandhi before he certified the budget as balanced.

Wepman is also believed to have had a hand in overestimating the average teacher salary and benefit levels ($81,000), creating the infamous $34 million surplus that Rhee wanted to use to underwrite part of teacher pay raises in the new proposed contract. That is until Gandhi said last week that $30 million of it didn't exist. It has raised questions about whether anyone really knows how DCPS uses its money.

But Wepman is listed as a panelist for a May 4 Urban Institute discussion entitled "The Big Disconnect: Spending Policies, School Priorities and Student Achievement." It doesn't exactly deal with the issues that led to his departure--it's about skewed spending that favors athletics and other electives over core subjects--but who knows? Maybe the silent bean counter will finally spill a bean or two.

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By Bill Turque  |  April 22, 2010; 1:24 PM ET
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Next: Rhee to court: No "surplus" during layoffs


Is this all you have to report on these days?

How about the 29 million dollars that Rhee "identified" in her april 15th letter to Gandhi? Remember?

She conceded to Gandhi’s new numbers, that she only has a $5 million surplus, thus needed $29 million more, and then said, “We have identified sources to fill this balance.”

She also said, “My staff looks forward to working with your staff tomorrow to finalize these resources so that we can move on to certify this contract for the teachers.”

That was seven days ago and not a peep from Rhee, Gandhi or you about the money.

Posted by: efavorite | April 22, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so he speaks. What are we to believe? Am I to assume that he is now on the talk circuit and like Rhee will be making false claims about his accomplishments and promoting himself?

Posted by: candycane1 | April 22, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

We'll learn more from FOIA, but as we (thru Bill) have seen, DC Gov and DCPS believe they can ignore the law.

Posted by: edlharris | April 22, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Noah Wepman speaks...and DCPS aims to please...and with both statement gets you a free cup of decaf at the local 7-11

Posted by: PowerandPride | April 22, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Noah Wepman stills work with DCPS.

Posted by: sheilahgill | April 22, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

What about the $30 million overspent in the central office?

Who gives a D--- what Noah Wepman has to say. He is a liar in the first order just like Fenty, Rhee, and Nickles. The low life is still drawing a DC Government check (special pay off slush fund).

Also, the 29 million Rhee suddenly found will go up in smoke just like the 34 million Rhee "discovered".

This is a terrible joke against the terminated employees of DCPS and the suffering goes on.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | April 23, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

A commenter from two days ago might be a little contrite in complaining about your being on the job, Bill Turque, when she looks at the article produced in the last day on the hearing on the suit. Shoot first, think later. BTW, I agree with the misleading headline on this Wepman piece and the underwhelming content. Maybe the reporter does not write the headline, which is the case in many papers.

Posted by: axolotl | April 24, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

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