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`New Edu. Chief Wanted to Delay Extra Budget`

Posted June. 08, 2010 08:34,   


Seoul school superintendent-elect Kwak Noh-hyeon requested that the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education delay setting an extra budget plan, but the office submitted the budget as scheduled.

Kwak will set the budget needed to implement his campaign pledges in a review of a second supplementary budget following his inauguration.

According to sources in and out of the education office Monday, Kwak, who learned last week that the office set an extra budget plan and submitted it to the education board, requested a delay in the bill`s submission.

A source close to Kwak said, “If our suggestion is not reflected in setting the budget for the year`s second half, we thought we will have difficulty delivering our campaign pledges and thus made the request.”

The office held a meeting Saturday to gather opinions on Kwak’s request. At the meeting, the office agreed that delaying the bill`s deliberation until after Kwak’s inauguration will add to the urgency and render it difficult to address the issue. It decided to ask for Kwak’s understanding.

Due to confusion by the working-level official in charge, however, an official letter asking for the submission`s delay was erroneously delivered to the board. As a result, the office assembled a meeting of senior officials and sent another official letter urging deliberation of the budget bill as scheduled.

Vice Superintendent Lee Seong-hee at the education office, who is acting superintendant, said, “The first letter was mistakenly delivered in the course of communicating with the agenda office (which handles the board`s business)."

"The bill includes a budget item on more than 80 billion won (65 million U.S. dollars) in severance pay for teachers to retire in August. If the early retirement of those teachers is not processed within June, we will have a problem in a personnel reshuffle of professional officials (which was delayed due to a scandal in personal affairs).

Kwak also said, “Irrational elements were in the system since we had no room to intervene in setting more budget,” but added, “We had no specific fields for which we wanted to set the budget. Since we have a schedule to set a second extra budget in August, we decided to accept the education office’s opinion.”