Of course the majority of the cuts will come from schools rather than the central Tweed budget.
And even as Bloomberg is claiming he has to cut these teaching jobs in order to keep the city budget in the black, we get word of another consultant company bilking the DOE out of millions:
A substitute teacher was busted yesterday for an alleged long-running tutoring scam that overbilled the Department of Education for hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds.
Michael Logan, 48, of White Plains, allegedly recruited former students to help in his scheme, hiring them as “aides” for after-school tutoring in The Bronx at the Monroe and Columbus high schools, which racked up $2.3 million in bills between 2005 and 2012.
But instead of helping disadvantaged students boost their grades, Logan had them round up signatures from kids at sports practice to falsify attendance sheets for the now-defunct TestQuest tutoring company, court papers say.
And if they couldn’t find enough students to fill out the forms, Logan — a TestQuest manager — allegedly told the aides “to sign the sheets themselves.”
“I already got paid, this is how you get paid,” he said, according to a Manhattan federal-court complaint.
Logan has been barred from teaching pending the outcome of his charges.
Meanwhile, the feds yesterday joined a whistle-blower suit against TestQuest, claiming its management “knew about, deliberately ignored or recklessly disregarded the fraud.”
TestQuest founder and CEO Tiffany Hott didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
The TestQuest bilking is not an isolated incident.
Comptroller John Liu found another tutoring company - a company the DOE just gave another multi-million dollar contract to - has bilked the DOE out of millions over the past few years and is under federal investigation:
The largest provider of after-school tutoring services for city public schools pupils, Champion Learning Center LLC, has been under investigation since last summer by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, the Daily News has learned.
The federal probe came to light this week after City Controller John Liu refused to approve a new $4.5 million contract the Department of Education awarded the company in November.
“There is sufficient reason to believe that the proposed contractor is involved in corrupt activity,” Liu said in a Jan. 11 letter to the Department of Education, a copy of which The News obtained under a Freedom of Information request.
The firm, Liu noted in his letter, has twice been found to be improperly billing the city for its services — once by the department itself and once by Liu’s auditors. As a result, Champion has been forced to repay more than $6 million since 2009.
In addition, Liu said, the firm revealed in an Oct. 9 update to the city’s VENDEX system that it is the target of an ongoing federal civil probe.
Let's also never forget that the threatened cuts are a literal form of political extortion. There is no compelling fiscal/budgetary problem causing them; instead, it's a pressure point against the union, exacted against the schools and students.ReplyDelete
The entire political dynamic behind this - that students and schools should be held hostage, so that a pound of flesh can be extracted from the teachers - is repugnant, and typifies the command-and-control regime that has taken over education.
Well said, Michael. I think that will be tomorrow's post focus.Delete
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