Monday, April 21, 2008

$100 million in limbo due to budget fight

Due to a dispute over maintenance costs between Mayor Fenty and DC Council Chairman Vincent Gray almost $100 million slated for DCPS is being held up.
The council won’t release the money until Fenty transfers $33.5 million from DCPS to the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization, headed by Allen Lew, for school maintenance. Fenty hasn’t been willing to release more than $26 million, which he claims is the actual maintenance budget.

The dispute dates back to October, when the council allowed Lew’s agency to take on school maintenance with the stipulation that the maintenance budget shift with the responsibility.

In December, when the council approved the $182.6 million fiscal 2008 supplemental budget, it specified that none of the money would be released until the $33.5 million was transferred. In February, Fenty proposed moving $26 million.

“The Council, clearly and unambiguously, declares that when it passes legislation with the number $33.5 million, it means $33.5 million, not $26,017,958,” council members unanimously declared in a resolution adopted last month.

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