One of the challenges to fixing the D.C. public school system is that every solution has to overcome sticker shock. Because of falling enrollment and other reasons, schools chancellor Michelle Rhee plans to shutter 23 schools. She estimates that the school system will save $23 million this year in operating costs -- but first, as The Post's Theola Labbe reports today, the district will have to spend at least $110 million to close some buildings and remodel others.
As The Post's yearlong series on fixing D.C.'s schools has shown, shelling out big bucks in the past often did not lead to sustained improvement. For example, tens of millions of dollars were spent several years ago to install new heating plants in dozens of schools. But much of the money was wasted because routine maintenance was ignored and many of those boilers failed. Rhee and Mayor Adrian Fenty have promised that things will be different this time.
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