|(Source: GothamSchools from IBO data)|
|(Source: Bruce Baker, Rutgers Univ.)|
|Spencer Robertson, preK and charter school operator|
Note the example of the PAVE charter school, run by Spencer Robertson, the son of billionaire Julian Robertson, a close associate of Mayor Bloomberg's.
In order to evade this prohibition, Robertson the son set up a dummy corporation for a pre-school for PAVE called the "Henry Cooper Westendarp" school, named after PAVE's director of finance. This pre-school is being funded through a separate contract with the DOE to the tune of nearly half a million dollars, and it will help ensure a steady stream of students for Spencer's charter school.
|Julian Robertson, billionaire and non-city taxpayer|
2) To increase pre-K capacity, the DoE funds a number of full and part time Universal Pre-K ("UPK") programs (usually - but not always - operated by community based organizations) throughout the City (including D15).
3) The ONLY full time D15 UPK funded by the DoE (as approved by the Panel for Educational Policy this Spring) is "pre-PAVE" which will receive slightly less than a half million dollars for 54 four year olds in full time pre-K. Coincidentally, I'm sure, this is the highest per pupil allocation of any such UPK in the entire City as approved by the PEP.
4) Notwithstanding the DoE claims that PAVE and pre-PAVE are separate entities, pre-PAVE is going to be run by Cooper Westendarp - PAVE's Chief Financial Officer (who earns over 90K per year in that capacity).
5) Furthermore, the PAVE Charter School has sought (and apparently received) approval to conduct its Kindergarten lottery seventeen months in advance.
6) As per Sonia Park, the Director of the DoE's Charter School Accountability & Support Division, those lucky winners will be "invited" (but not "required") to attend pre-PAVE this Fall. Thus, at the very least, those lottery winners will have priority over all other applicants to pre-PAVE. And if all lottery winners accept the "invitation", no other children will have access to that pre-K program.
7) In any event, according to the PAVE website, ALL pre-PAVE graduates will automatically be granted admission to PAVE. Nevertheless, at the PEP, the Chancellor incredibly denied that applying to PAVE was a pre-condition for acceptance to pre-PAVE.
9) Before the PAVE pre-K proposal was even calendared for approval by the Panel for Educational Panel, the DoE Executive Director of the Office of Early Childhood Education, Sophia Pappas, directly intervened on behalf of "PAVE pre-K" with NYC Housing Authority to personally lobby it to locate the proposed program on NYCHA property needed by Red Hood Senior Citizens.
10) While that maneuver was eventually foiled, one has to question why a high-level Educrat would be allowed to misuse her position to advance the pecuniary interests of a private party to the clearly unnecessary detriment of local NYCHA senior citizens.
11) Meanwhile, as thousands of children are being deprived access to pre-K throughout the City (30% of all applicants), the ONLY D15 public school with ANY pre-K slots available is PS 676 (Red Neighborhood School) literally located about three blocks away from PAVE.
12) This peculiar misallocation of NYC DoE resources can perhaps be explained, at least in part, by the ENORMOUS influence of the Robertson family. For example, the Chancellor serves on the Board of the NYC Charter Schools Center along with PAVE founder and Director Spencer Robertson.
13) In addition, the Chair of said Board is Phoebe Boyer, the "Executive Director of the Tiger Foundation and Interim Executive Director of the Robertson Foundation" - both of which happen to be predominantly funded by Julian Robertson (one of the wealthiest men in the world who, of course, is Spencer's dad).
Have we connected the dots yet?