Transparency Watch: Billions Spent on D.C. School Improvement Yet Auditor Says Public In the Dark

Sparkling new buildings are in the works in the ongoing modernization of D.C. schools, begun in 2006 and slated for $1.3 billion more in Mayor Muriel Bowser’s six-year plan. But the D.C. Council’s auditor reported Wednesday (1) that the program “failed to comply with D.C. Code and lacks accountability, transparency and basic financial management.”

The auditor’s report, covering $1.2 billion spent in 2010 – 2013, noted the accountable government agencies handed key decisions and oversight to management contractors (paid $37 million) with weak review, bills are paid sometimes with little or no explanation and overruns have been widespread. (For example, the new Duke Ellington School of the Arts building may cost 4-5 times more per square foot than a 2010 master plan called for.)  Continue>>>