A $34 million crisis of confidence in Washington, D.C. schools

Bill Turque:

ollow the money, if you can.
First, Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee announces that an extra $34 million is available in the D.C. schools budget for teacher pay raises. Two days later, Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi declares that not only is most of it nonexistent but also that Rhee is running a projected $30 million over budget in her central office operation.
Within hours, Rhee says an unspecified $29 million has been “identified” to fund the raises.
How this happened, why and how it will be resolved still isn’t clear. Rhee and Gandhi are saving most of their answers for scheduled testimony before the D.C. Council on Friday. Hanging in the balance is the fate of the District’s $140 million tentative agreement with the Washington Teachers’ Union, which is contingent on Gandhi’s certification that the pact is financially sound.