There are some days that it has to suck to be Michelle Rhee. You’re busting your ass to line up methods to pay for the raises that you want to give to the good men and women working in the classroom in DC School, including doing some outside-the-box thinking to add non-profit stakeholders to the mix and then the DC CFO, who should be providing feedback all throughout the process, comes in and shits all over your parade, saying that the contract can’t stand.
That’s got to be a frustration that can barely be understood. Why wasn’t the CFO, or the CFO’s office inside the School District, cognizant of the problems that this new contract, and the methods for funding it, speaking up before the contract agreement was handled? Is this a place where Michelle Rhee got a little mavericky and didn’t do the due diligence? I don’t think that’s outside my impressions of her leadership style; this is the same chancellor who has said some pretty brash things in her tenure. Or is this a problem inside the DCPS-CFO relationship? The fight over whether or not there’s a surplus or deficit seems like something that would indicate that DCPS’ books don’t match up with the CFO’s books.
Regardless, this means that the contract cannot go in for approval to rank and file teachers, which is another setback for WTU’s George Parker’s tenure as president of the union, and as he faces an election before the end of next month, it’s going to be a priority for him to get the contract done before he can face his membership.