Friday, December 09, 2005

Preliminary budget introduced

Superintendent Janey has unveiled his proposed DCPS budget for fiscal year 2007. The bill: $810 million. Although Janey is required to have the full details of the budget in front of the Mayor by Dec. 21st, Janey is hoping to have that date moved back to February when he is scheduled to release more details of his plan to overhaul the District's public schools.
he proposed budget is, for now, based on an $810 million allotment from the city for fiscal 2007. City officials arrived at the amount by calculating a 3 percent inflationary increase into its seven-year-old school funding formula, which long has been criticized for failing to keep up with the true costs of education and pay increases for teachers.

Janey and officials from his budget team said they are supporting a new proposal by the State Education Office, a city agency that oversees the funding formula for the mayor, to increase the basic per-pupil allocation from $7,534 to $8,002. Changing the formula, they said, would increase spending by 5 percent and add $29.3 million to the proposed budget.

The State Education Office proposal, which has been forwarded to the mayor and D.C. Council, "would include more money for athletics, vocational education and include better funding for high schools," Mary Levy, director of the Public Education Reform Project for the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, said in an interview.

Levy, who was part of the group that devised the proposed funding changes, added that the additional money also could be used to finance collective bargaining, which has traditionally come from special allocations from the council.

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