2005_04_blankcheck.jpgThere's something so fitting that the Department of Education, which had been administering the citywide math tests for third and fifth graders this week, wrote a settlement check of $8,641,575 to an autistic child and his family, when the check should have been for $86,415.75. Damn those decimal points!! [The city is paying the family for not having the special education resources to educate the child.] The lawyer for the child's family sent the check back to the office of City Comptroller, William Thompson, since his computer-generated signature was on it, with a note saying, "This is not the first sizable overpayment we have returned to the city. I am very concerned that your office may be hemorrhaging checks like this one to persons who will not act as responsibly as we do." A spokesman for the Comptroller's office said, "Now you can understand how the Department of Education was $156 million over budget in the last fiscal year." A new check for the proper amount is being cut for the family today. No word on whether the Department of Education staff will be tested on their maths.