Monday, September 01, 2008

Charter schools lose $6 million

The District is shifting $6 million budgeted for charter schools over to the Child and Family Services Agency.
The move was part of an $11 million transfer of funds, largely from the 2008 charter school budget, which had a surplus because enrollment during the past school year was lower than expected. About $5 million will go to the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services to pay for an unexpected increase in the number of juveniles detained at or committed to the Oak Hill Youth Center.

The movement of money will not have an impact on charter school operations in the coming academic year.

Child and Family Services, which takes care of the city's most vulnerable residents, has been hit by a wave of staff resignations and a six-fold increase in cases reported since January, when Banita Jacks was found living with the corpses of her four daughters. Six social workers were fired for not responding to earlier reports about the troubled family.

The resulting staff exodus and the new cases "create a perfect storm of rising demand and declining personnel resources," the agency's interim director, Roque Gerald, wrote to his staff members in an internal memo Thursday.

The funds for the agency came from three city sources where expenses were lower than anticipated, according to a letter Fenty (D) wrote to the D.C. Council requesting the money. Half came from the charter school budget; the rest came from savings on interest payments and the city administrator's budget.

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