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Posted at 3:45 PM ET, 01/24/2011

School budgets delayed again

By Bill Turque

DCPS has once again put off delivery of budget allocations to individual schools. The allocations, which principals and LSATs are supposed to use to shape their spending plans, were originally due on Jan. 18 but postponed until yesterday. The latest due date is Feb. 1.

The continued delay comes amid the steadily worsening news about the city's financial predicament. Estimates of the District's FY12 revenue gap now top $600 million, according to The Washington Business Journal. DCPS was scheduled to receive its "mark" from the mayor's office -- the initial read on the overall pot of money available--the week before last. It appears as if DCPS, which had already been expecting to absorb a significant dip in school budgets, was trying to keep a bad situation from getting worse. In a memo yesterday to DCPS senior staff and principals, school operations specialist John Petersen said:

"Simply put, we believe that there are still additional dollars that can be found and go to individual school allocations. Our focus throughout this process has been on transparency and making sure schools receive the most possible dollars to maintain their current programs. We are working closely with the DCPS OCFO to get the resources we need to fully support you, your staff, and your students."

Here's the latest updated budget calendar:

1/26/11: Special Education Budget Information Session (at Principals' Academy)
1/28/11: Release of FY12 Budget Guide to Principals
2/1/11: Release of FY12 Initial Budget Allocations to Principals
2/1/11: Community Budget Information Session (Principals do not need to attend)
2/1/11-2/7/11: Technical Assistance Sessions for Principals
2/8/11: Budget Petitions Due
2/11/11: Petition Results Released
2/16/11: Final Budgets Due
2/17-2/25/11: Budget Roundtables (as needed)
2/28-3/4: Principals Share Budgets with School Community

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

By Bill Turque  | January 24, 2011; 3:45 PM ET
 
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Comments

I serve on my school's LSAT (AKA LSRT). At our initial budget session the numbers we were given showed that the amount of money given to schools would decrease by 5% this year, but the budget for central administration would increase by 2%. Somehow downtown gets spared any budget pain.

Posted by: washpost4 | January 25, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I went to one of the LSAT technical meetings and asked about funding equity issues that have been horrible under Rhee since she scrapped the Weighted Student Formula. They said they are paying more attention to equity issues and the budget document is supposed to at least explain these inequities. Given how outrageous these have been since Rhee took it over they may be having trouble coming up with any reasonable explanation for this. I so miss the weighted student formula. It had its problems but we didn't have some schools getting twice as much money per student as others.

Posted by: Mulch5 | January 26, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

13 Instructional Superintendents? Add those salaries and see how much money could be used at the local school level. What a waste.

Posted by: candycane1 | January 26, 2011 8:27 PM | Report abuse

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