Monday, May 15, 2006

The DC Council look to control DCPS finances

Today the DC Council is set to debate a bill sponsored by Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) that would give the Council line-item veto power over the DCPS budget (text of bill has not been uploaded to the DC Council website yet). The bill has a pretty good chance of passing as it has been co-sponsored by DC Council Chairperson Mrs. Cropp along with council members Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large), David I. Catania (I-At Large), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Vincent B. Orange (D-Ward 5). The Washington Post editorial board seems to think this is a bad idea:
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.

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."
They have a very good point.

[Hat tip Marc Borbely]


Ed Researcher said...

Put Marion Barry in charge of DCPS? That crack-addled corrupt demagogue should not be allowed to serve on a PTA. Would I trust Jim Graham or Adrian Fenty with the line item veto on this one? Probably. But this is one of the rare times I'll agree with the WaPo editorial board. DCPS has to be held accountable, but not in this way or to that body.

Anonymous said...

I work for DCPS and I support what the city council is trying to do. Why? Because the school board does not know how to handle money. And everyone from the federal government, to parents, to students to even DCPS's own employees agree that DCPS does not know how to manage its finances. Its rediculous how teachers are getting fired, and how schools are being poorly maintained while DCPS top administration are giving themselves huge salary increases and bonuses. I've worked at DCPS's largest high school for 5 years now and nothing has changed at all since Janey jumped into office. We still have the same cracks on the walls, we're still short on printer cartridges, we still have broken doors and windows. It's rediculous.