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Posted at 6:14 PM ET, 03/ 8/2011

Problems plague DCPS budget roll out

By Bill Turque

The good news for District schools was that a $100 million budget gap became a $50 million budget gap last week because of revised revenue forecasts. The bad news is that the agency had some challenges in pushing out the news about school-by-school budget allocations.

The first problem came last Friday, as officials were aiming for an afternoon rollout to school principals. That was before some of the numbers seemed out of line. When one school had 270 bilingual teachers built into its budget, they decided to check them all one more time, which delayed the release until late Friday night.

"When you have 130 budgets going out, weird things happen," said Lisa Ruda, chief of staff to Interim Chancellor Kaya Henderson. She said that she wanted to take the extra time doublechecking rather than have to revise them after the fact.

The allocations were posted publicly on Monday, but trouble surfaced again today when tech issues caused the allocations to disappear for a few hours. They're back up now. You can see them here.

By Bill Turque  | March 8, 2011; 6:14 PM ET
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Next: DCPS budget: The Brian Betts effect


I pray for resolution of this problem.

Mistakes were made, as they say.

Posted by: WorkersOfTheWorld | March 9, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Never mind that the per-school allocations were supposed to have been delivered to principals and LSATs on Jan. 17.

This year's budgeting process has been a disaster so far. Everyone understands that dealing with the deficit complicates budgeting, but there's no excuse for the kinds of delays and poor communication that have plagued the 2011-12 budgeting cycle.

Posted by: ntx1 | March 9, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

More than a month late and still problems, but the leadership in DCPS is great. We should keep these people.....

Posted by: Mulch5 | March 10, 2011 12:33 AM | Report abuse

And Washington Post continues its routine of ignoring completely the state of DCPS Central. Rhee and now Henderson could have been running a Madoff for 4 years, paying for management product from consultants instead of developing internal capacity to produce it to self-govern. But Washington Post readers would never know it until it is too late.

Why no call, Bill Turque, for this story, on accounting systems experts, even within WaPo, on how impossible these errors could be if the budgeting systems had ANY of numerous internal plausibility checks. When those checks are in place, errors of the kind reported here are not possible.

Posted by: incredulous | March 10, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

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