District of Columbia Draft Emergency Supplemental Funding Request for District of Columbia Public Schools

HEHS-97-116R: Published: May 5, 1997. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1997.

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Carlotta C. Joyner
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the D.C. Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority's draft request for emergency supplemental funding for District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS).

GAO noted that: (1) GAO found no reason to challenge the validity of DCPS' need for critical capital improvements; (2) DCPS' estimate of the cost of these improvements, $86.9 million, $36.85 million of which it is now requesting to cover its fiscal year 1997 funding shortfall, seems reasonable based on available data; (3) GAO did not address the issue, however, of whether other, more appropriate sources of funding are available; (4) DCPS has developed a capital improvement plan for completing emergency school repairs by September 1997 and has hired a chief operating officer/director of facilities; (5) given the scope of the repairs required, however, and the number of schools involved, DCPS may not have enough staff to effectively oversee an effort of this magnitude in such a short time period; and (6) in addition, although DCPS officials said that they have been talking to major construction firms about construction management and precertifying individual contractors to execute the plan, the scopes of work and timing for each project in the plan have not yet been developed.

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