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D.C. Teacher's Contract Certified By CFO

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DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee reorganized the city budget to cover teacher's raises.
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DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee reorganized the city budget to cover teacher's raises.

By Patrick Madden

D.C.'s tentative labor agreement with the Washington Teacher's Union is now in the hands of its members.

The city's Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi says he has certified the agreement. It had been held up because of its reliance on private funding to help pay for teacher raises and bonuses. The latest challenge: finding the money in case the private foundations pulled out.

After five weeks of working with Gandhi and his team, Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee says the city found the funds. "In fact, a couple of nights have been sleepless nights at the CFOs office trying to ensure we have the money to pay for this contract," says Rhee.

Rhee says the city needed to identify approximately $40 million. More than half that amount will come from federal funds; the rest from the private foundations' first payment. The deal still needs the approval of union members, who will have 15 days to consider the agreement. If they ratify the contract, it goes to the D.C. Council for approval.

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