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D.C. CFO Will Not Certify Proposed Teacher's Contract

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D.C. Council members grilled Chief Financial Officer for nearly five hours on Friday.
Patrick Madden
D.C. Council members grilled Chief Financial Officer for nearly five hours on Friday.

By Patrick Madden

The proposed D.C. teachers contract continues to be held up.

The city's Chief Financial Officer says he cannot certify the agreement right now because it relies on private donations.

CFO Natwar Gandhi says he will not sign off on the deal until the city shows it has the money to pay for the teacher raises. Because there are strings attached to the private money, it's possible the foundations could pull out and the city would be on the hook.

For nearly five hours today, Gandhi was grilled by the council on why the CFO's office wasn't more involved in the contract talks.

Gandhi raised some other concerns as well: the charter schools might take the city to court if they don't see an increase in funding and there are some, what he calls, "legal defects" with the contract.

But the main obstacle right now appears to be money the city needs to find -- nearly 34 million dollars in total to fund the contract and the schools budget deficit for next year.

Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee told the council that shes identified enough sources of money to close the gap and get the contract certified.

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