D.C. School Superintendent Vincent E. Reed said yesterday the school system is facing a deficit of up to $28 million and some programs will have to be cut back to get through the school year.
"Some things will have to be sacrificed," Reed said. "It's not a question of whether or not we're going to get through the school year. It's a question of how are we going to get through the school year in the black," he said.
The school system's financial problems largely stem from Congress' cutting about $11 million from the school board's $25.8 million budget request. Then, last month, Mayor Marion Barry directed the school board to cut an additional $8.83 million from its budget.
In addition, Reed said he anticipates cost overruns of $3 million for fuel and $575,000 to pay for the placement for special education students in rpviate institutions when there is no public school program to meet their needs.
Reed also says the school system will need an additional $4 million to finance the 7 percent pay increase Congress approved for school employes. The school board had approved a budget that allowed for only a 5 percent increase.
In a memo circulated to board members, Reed recommended the elimination of some special education and career development programs and night school. He also proposed that the school system stop using substitute teachers and other part time employes and that there be no maintenance on school buildings except where there are safety hazards.
Board members criticized him for not providing them with enough options where cuts can be made.
John Warren, the new chairman of the board's finance committee, which handles the school budget, criticized Reed for failing to outline what would be the impact of his recommended cuts and for failing to address areas where school administration could be cut to reduce costs.
"How can we talk about cutting out night school or anything else without looking at personnel (costs)?" Warren asked.
Warren said he wants the superintendent to provide the board with a breakdown of how much it costs to run the school system on a day-to-day basis.
Board President R. Calvin Lockridge said, however, that the board has been unable to make appropriate adjustments in the 1980 budget because it does not even know how much money the school system hass spent since the school year began.
He blamed the city's new computerized financial management system, which he said has not yet been programmed to provide detailed printouts on school expenditures.
"We don't know if we're overspending or underspending," Lockridge said. "The only thing we know is that we need to make a budget adjustment."
He said he did not know how even Reed could predict a financial shortfall of $28 million without these printouts from the financial management system computer. Lockridge pointed out that one recent report from the city system showed that the schools may be underspending its budget by $28 million. He said the board does not know if that report is accurate.
Lockridge said Reed's projection of a $28 million deficit, however, represented "the bleakest possible situation."
Hampering the school system's efforts at fiscal planning, Lockridge said, is the fact that Congress does not vote on the city budget until after the school year begins. This year, the school budget was not approved until late fall and a number of educational programs were planned and positions filled, but the school system did not then receive funds for them.