Apologies for the budget-coverage heavy week—there are just so many interesting and important things to share!
One of the faults of those who come to the Council during budget season demanding that their funding be restored or increased is a failure to point out where to make up the difference. Well, here’s something that should be worked on: The absurd amount of money we spend transporting special ed kids to programs outside the District because we don’t have adequate programs in the city.
Actually, this one comes courtesy of Mayor Vince Gray, who has used it on a couple of occasions to highlight waste in the District’s spending habits. The city has 4,000 special-needs students who are served by Individualized Education Programs, and must be bussed to schools around D.C. and as far as Baltimore. This year, the mayor requested $150 million for tuition to those private programs, which is a $7.8 million decrease from last year. And just to get them there, the budget includes $93.6 million for 74 bus lines—that’s $26,000 per student per year.
Which makes leased Navigators look like peanuts.
Image via flickr user June21st.