This blog has said over and over again that Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Farina are not our friends. Some new evidence is in the NY Post where Susan Edelman has an exclusive today that somebody commenting on a previous post directed me to.
There is a report from Comptroller Scott Stringer on the Department of Education not tracking spending of over $100 million it sends to the NYC Leadership Academy. This is the Leadership Academy that trains some of the most awful principals in the system.
Here is a major excerpt from Edelman's article:
Last month, de Blasio declared a “NYC Leadership Academy Day,” and declared the outfit “an important partner” in running city schools. Fariña praised the academy “for its tremendous work to prepare and support great school leaders.”
But the academy, founded in 2003, has also become notorious for graduating inept — and sometimes corrupt — principals with little teaching experience. Its “leadership coaches,” mostly retired principals, have also been hired in the mayor’s three-year-old Renewal program for struggling schools, which has shown meager academic gains.
The comptroller's auditors reviewed $559,667 in DOE payments to the academy, including $394,007 for "leadership coaching."
Disregarding the safeguards in its own contracts and procurement rules," the comptroller said, the DOE spent $385612, or 98 percent of the coaching payments, without the required documentation.
No sign-in sheets were produced at the time showing the dates and hours each coach worked. The academy simply billed for a total number of hours, the audit found.
The absence of records made it virtually impossible to find fake bills or bill-padding, said Stringer spokesman Devon Puglia.
But he added: "Based on what we know from this and other audits of the DOE, we can say that the risk of improper payments is very real."
More alarming, the DOE "did not request or receive any progress reports," which the contracts require quarterly. Nor did DOE officials meet monthly with academy officials - another layer of oversight the contract requires. The DOE listed phone calls and other "check-ins" but had no memos or reports on what was discussed.
The academy's president and CEO Irma Zardoya, a former Bronx superintendent, collected $260,000 in pay and benefits in 2015-16, according to the group's latest tax filings. She did not return a message.
Nobody who has any close connection to the DOE will be surprised by any of this. Dig a little deeper Ms. Edelman and Mr. Stringer and you might just find not only the "specter of waste, fraud and abuse" but a culture that encourages greed. Mayoral control of the schools allows waste, fraud and abuse to run wild because there is so little accountability in the schools and still nobody in power wants to end the dictatorship.