Halfway through the school year, the Recovery District in New Orleans still is discovering millions of dollars in unpaid bills from last school year. Superintendent Paul Vallas says this has led to a cash flow problem that will delay teacher bonuses by two weeks. Invoices from last school year are still popping up, Vallas says, because the Recovery District had no budget in place then. Vallas became superintendent in the summer after the state-run system's tumultuous first year.
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EARLIER: New Orleans Recovery School District Superintendent Paul Vallas has laid out a two-year spending plan that calls for relying on one-time federal revenue, much of it flood-recovery aid, to pay to finance extensive academic expenses such as technological updates, after-school programs and smaller class sizes. The strategy will set the district down a path of instituting costly reforms in the next two years that will likely have to be scaled back thereafter. That tack initially drew concern from members of the state school board, but Vallas seemed to ease their fears by promising to steadily reduce future spending.