LA Unified School District Payroll System 82.4% Fixed

Today was payday once again for employees of the LA Unified School District (LAUSD). As you may have been following here, LAUSD implemented a new payroll system that has not exactly worked as planned.

In a story in today's LA Times, the problems supposedly now have been solved or at least most of them. According to LAUSD's spokesperson Binti Harvey, "employees' paychecks may be different, (but they are) more likely to be correct." She didn't specify a probability figure related to that likelihood, however.

Furthermore, Harvey says data shows that, "82.4% of all system defects have been fixed, and another 10.4% will be fixed" by the December payday. I guess using the decimal point means that 824 or 8240 defects have been fixed, and that either another 104 or 1040 still remain.

That of course assumes that current fixes don't create new defects. Also, the way Harvey said it, there seems to be an implication that all system defects are created equal. Either assumption is highly dubious.

Of course, given that many LAUSD employees have received over-payments as well as under-payments for months now, I don't envy them at all when they try figuring out whether today's paycheck is actually correct. I would hate to be in their shoes at the end of this year when they have to determine whether their total pay for 2007 is right or not. They might end up paying a whole lot more in taxes they did not expect.

As the Times story notes:

"With 2007 coming to a close, income tax forms present an additional worry, said A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles. 'Our members are very concerned about their taxes,' Duffy wrote in a statement. 'LAUSD has told us that they may not be able to meet with all UTLA members before the end of the calendar year. Our members are concerned that their payroll issues will be resolved way too late.' "

What fun. I'll be back in December with another update.


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Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City