Even with last month’s improved revenue forecasts that added about $50 million to the DCPS 2012 budget, Acting Chancellor Kaya Henderson said the school system still faced a $60 to 70 million shortfall. So it was a bit of a surprise to see a 12.3 percent increase in local funding for schools in the budget that Mayor Gray sent to the D.C. Council on Friday, especially when many individual school spending blueprints still show cuts.
So what’s up? DCPS folks were kind of scarce Friday afternoon when I called with questions. Spokeswoman Safiya Simmons offered a Tuesday afternoon briefing with officials. People must be taking a long weekend.
Budget maven Mary Levy delivered an initial readout Saturday. It appears that DCPS is showing increased revenue of $60 million, including a $17 million bump in private foundation grants and $7 million in special purpose revenues (for fees, sales and reimbursements).
But the system is looking at increased costs of $78 million: $23 million for teacher pay and benefits, $31 million extra for special education, $6 million for utilities and food service, and $18 million for something called “central management.”
That leaves a shortfall of $18 million, according to Levy.
Clarity next week, maybe.