LAUSD Payroll System: From $95 million to $210 million


The LA Daily News reported on Sunday that the LA Unified School District (LAUSD) officials are now saying that its botched and blundered payroll system will likely cost upwards of $210 million when all is said and done. And if it is like any of the previous estimates, it is probably low by $25 to 35 million.

What's more, the newly estimated cost figure does not seem to include the $6 million in noncollectable over-payments to employees, the cost of its image consultants hired to put on a positive spin to the failure, and all the ancillary costs involved in correcting the payroll errors by everyone involved.

LAUSD officials furthermore say that to get to their projected error rate of 0.5 percent of monthly certified paychecks, teachers will have to give up the ability to get annualized pay (i.e., receiving twelve paychecks a year, instead of ten). This has not gone over well, since teachers fought for 25 years to get this benefit which was introduced only this past February when the new payroll system was introduced. The excuse for not doing so for the previous two decades plus was that the old payroll system couldn't compute the pay properly, but everyone was confident that the new and improved payroll system could. Well, it appears the new one can't either - I didn't know computers had problems normalizing using the number 12 as a base.

LAUSD officials also admit that they were over-optimistic, didn't know the project risks involved, did improper planning, scheduling and budgeting, etc., etc., but funny enough, they are having a hard time figuring out who was responsible for the mess in the first place. Must have been gremlins.


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