Monday, February 4, 2013

Panel to Revisit Controversial Tutoring Contract

The resolution below will be considered at the February 6th Panel for Educational Policy meeting on Staten Island.  It is my attempt to put an end to the controversy over the controversial contract for Champion Learning approved at the November 2012 meeting.  For background on the contract, see the Daily News coverage by Juan Gonzalez here.

Resolution Regarding the Rescission of Approval for Champion Learning Center Contract Approved at the November 8, 2012 Panel Meeting

WHEREAS, pursuant to Education Law § 2590-g the Panel for Educational Policy has the power and duty to approve certain contracts awarded by the City District or the Community Districts; and

WHEREAS a proposed contract for Champion Learning Center was submitted to the Panel for Educational Policy for approval at the November 8th 2012 meeting of the Panel described as contract item 8 listed in the contracts agenda; and

WHERAS the contract was approved over the objections and dissenting votes of the Queens (Fedkowskyj), Brooklyn (Diamond) and Manhattan (Sullivan) representatives who cited previous substantiated investigations into improper billing practices of Champion by the NYC Comptroller; and

WHEREAS Daily News reporter Juan Gonzalez reported on January 16th that the NYC Comptroller had refused to register the Panel-approved contract citing "sufficient reason to believe that the proposed contractor is involved in corrupt activity" and that the Comptroller also noted in a letter to DOE that Champion had revealed a federal probe into its billing practices in an October 9th update to the VENDEX system used by DOE procurement staff to track disclosures regarding vendors; and

WHEREAS the Panel for Educational Policy in its role to provide governance over procurement must now act to maintain the integrity of that process; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that in accordance with Education Law § 2590-g, the Panel for Educational Policy hereby rescinds its prior approval of the contract with Champion Learning and rejects the contract.

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