Tuesday, April 25, 2006

DCPS can't manage money

Someone once joked that third world kleptocracies were better run than the District's public school systems. Unfortunately, it appears as if they weren't that far off the mark. According to US Department of Education the District has a "high risk" of mismanaging federal funds, putting them in rare company along with Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa.
In an April 21 letter, Deputy Education Secretary Raymond Simon said federal dollars are jeopardized by numerous weaknesses in the school system, including lack of timely audits, poor monitoring of federally financed programs, lack of appropriate documentation for salaries and poor record-keeping on funding of charter schools.

"The systemic nature of these weaknesses in DCPS's grants management places the federal funds granted to DCPS at high risk of mismanagement, misuse or misallocation," Simon wrote in the letter addressed to Superintendent Clifford B. Janey. "DCPS cannot expect to improve the performance of its schools unless DCPS puts effective accountability systems in place."
And what kind of sanctions is DCPS facing if they don't clean up their system? One remedy is to have an outside board manage the Federal funds, a'la the District in the 90s. The other is the possibility of losing up to one whole percent of their federal fund, which, frankly, seems like a slap on the wrist at best.


Jeff said...

Did you watch the news on FOX5 last week Wednesday April 19 about our school? Was it true that we were mentioned too in Oprah show about depreciating public schools in the US? Is this an evidence of DCPS not being able to manage money?

Like the new skin of your blog!

Senor SAT Vocabulary said...

I saw that Oprah show, though I don't recall DCPS mentioned specifically. The full scope of the problem, though, is nation wide. 70% grad rate? It's even more staggering when you break it down by race.