The Board of Education, by law, oversees the school system and is responsible for developing and implementing its budget. Inherent in the board's powers, which current board members fully exercise, is line-item authority over the budget. It is neither necessary nor practical for Mr. Barry and his colleagues to duplicate the school board's role -- a point aptly made by Superintendent Clifford B. Janey in a letter to D.C. Council Chairman Linda Cropp earlier this week.They have a very good point.
Mr. Janey objects to the Barry legislation not only on the grounds of micromanagement. He correctly views the bill as a surefire means to ride roughshod over the Board of Education and turn off any school superintendent worth having. Mr. Janey warned: "Had this legislation been seriously contemplated or enacted prior to the interview process for the Superintendency of Washington, D.C., it would have been more than sufficient reason for me, and perhaps others, not to apply."
[Hat tip Marc Borbely]