Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good $31 million DOE contract with McGraw Hill off the agenda for tonight's PEP meeting!

Update 12/1/22: Daily News has a good article today on how the McGraw Hill contract was pulled from the PEP agenda last night, because of the controversy over huge cost and lack of any discount; the article quotes from comments made at the meeting by teacher Gavin Healy, PEP member Tom Sheppard and me.  

Yet the question still remains whether the contract will be submitted unchanged at a later meeting.  The only comments by  DOE officials about the contract were confusing:  Liz Vladeck, General Counsel, said there would be no loss of "services" during this time, meaning (I suppose) that schools could still order McGraw textbooks at inflated prices.  As the DN quotes her, "We just want to ensure folks understand this means they will be working at risk of financial loss until the contract is resolved,” Vladeck said of the vendor.

The only other DOE official to speak to the issue was Elisheba Lewi, head of DOE procurement, who on Monday had said at the PEP contract committee meeting that the contract "didn't make any sense" to her. Last night she said they "pulled that item from agenda so that we could just ...address concerns that have been raised & we're working very closely with the vendor to get to gain clearer understanding of what the current status is.” Huh?

The Great Minds Foundation textbook contract that also lacked any discount and charged an even higher shipping fee, but at a far lower total amount, was approved.