Today, DCPS educators got this email in their inboxes from Michelle Rhee:
September 16, 2009
To all DCPS staff members,
As you know, at this point in the school year, we are engaged in the annual equalization process -- adjusting school budgets, staffing, and other resources so that they align to actual student enrollment. Equalization adjusts resources based on an individual school's actual enrollment. It can mean a plus or minus in a school budget, depending on that enrollment. As you also know, we make these budget modifications every year.
This year DCPS faces an added complication because, due to DC Council budget reductions over the summer, we are facing a budget shortfall for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. Central office will absorb this shortfall to the maximum extent possible. But because we have pushed as much funding as possible out from central and into school budgets, the single greatest expenditure in DCPS is now school-based personnel. Therefore, there is no way to effect a reduction of this magnitude without impacting positions at schools.
Accordingly, many of our schools will be losing positions as of September 30, 2009. These funding adjustments will be consistent with current enrollment at each individual school. We will utilize a Reduction in Force (RIF), which will allow principals to consider several factors, including the needs of the school and the performance of staff in order to determine which positions will be eliminated and which positions will be retained. This RIF will be implemented
consistent with the requirements of 5 DCMR Chapter 15.
Every school reduction will be made in the best interest of students. We are committed to minimizing the impact that any reductions will have on the quality of academic programs, and we will work tirelessly with principals to ensure a smooth transition for all of our students,
schools and personnel. Our students and their achievement are, as always, our priority.
Hmmm. Well, isn't that interesting. Kind of scary, no? Personal fears of termination aside, I'd hate to lose staff from our school. From what I've seen so far this year, everyone seems to be doing really well. This is certainly a bummer.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't snarkily mock the rumor mills and fear mongering that have already begun in full. Some are already accusing Rhee of fudging numbers so that she can eliminate certain teachers. According to some, Rhee is lying about enrollment numbers, unfairly penalizing certain schools, and plotting to target certain people. She probably also personally manufactured the recession so that a budget shortfall would ensue. She's so crafty! If Michelle Rhee were smart and powerful enough to mastermind all of the things she's been accused of doing, she'd be a Google supercomputer.
Michelle Rhee certainly isn't perfect, but there's no way she's as much of an evil genius as some people claim. If she were, she'd either be making millions in private industry or running the Korean mafia.
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