Saturday, April 25, 2009

Nearly one-third of “grassroots” organizations for mayoral control received no-bid contracts

Excellent post:

Nearly one-third of the companies and nonprofits that are members of the grassroots organization, Learn NY, have received no-bid contracts from the Department of Education since Mayor Bloomberg took control of New York City schools in 2002, according to the analysis by our investigative team.

A group with close ties to Bloomberg, Learn NY is a coalition of organizations created to advocate the renewal of mayoral control after it sunsets in June 2009.

Since it began last July, the group has raised more than three million dollars and hired a number of high-profile lobbyists - Brown, McMahon & Weinraub and the MirRam Group - in an attempt to influence the decision over mayoral control of schools in Albany.

Executive Director Peter Hatch maintains that the organization has not received any money from Bloomberg, but refused to disclose a list of donors when asked. But a New York Times article later found that Harlem Children’s Zone - whose director, Geoffrey Canada, also sits at the head of the Learn NY board - has accepted more than $500,000 directly from Bloomberg since he was elected mayor. They have also been awarded close to $388 million competitively-bid contracts from the city and education department.

Additionally, 13 of the 40 organizations supporting Learn NY have received no-bid contracts from the New York City Department of Education since Bloomberg took control of schools:

Harlem Children’s Zone, received a $2,222,700 no-bid contract in 2008.

Ridgewood Bushwick Youth Center, received a $425,000 no-bid contract. Bushwick is an organization run and controlled by Assemblyman and Brooklyn Democrat leader Vito Lopez, who is close to Bloomberg.

Good Shepard Services, a nonprofit providing tutoring and literacy programs for children received eight no-bid contracts in the past five years worth a total of $3,761,748.

Fordham University, which helps schools establish “Inquiry Teams” and helps establish accountability tools—ARIS, ACUITY and Scantron—received $546,000 in 2009.

City Year, an organization that provides one-on-one tutoring services and literacy training programs, is the largest recipient of AmeriCorps funds in New York State. It also received the largest no-bid contract of the bunch – a $11,097,217 contract in 2006, though these could be federal or state funds funneled through the city’s education department.

Other members of Learn NY receiving no-bid contracts include Ghetto Film School, Young Women’s Empowerment Network, Outward Bound of NY, Publicolor, MOUSE and Learning Leaders. Beginning with Children Foundation and Explore Charter School also received no-bid funding.

1 comment:

  1. Very Sad...If I hear or see another Bloomberg commercial I am going to scream!!!!


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