Accountability Charter Schools Education Reform Harlem Success Academy

Eva’s Charters Refuse to Sign Pre-K Contracts: Public Money with No Public Oversight?

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Some charter operators claim they are public schools, but refuse to be audited or subject to any public accountability for the public funds they receive. As you might expect, Eva Moskowitz is leading the battle to prevent public oversight as she earlier led the charter battle to prevent public audits.  The legislature passed legislation allowing New York City’s Comptroller to audit NYC charters, and the State Comptroller to audit charters outside of New York City. The legislation blocked State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli from auditing Success Academy, as he had intended. The City Comptroller is now conducting an audit that includes Success Academy charters.

But now Eva is fighting oversight of publicly sponsored pre-K in her charters.

New York City Mayor de Blasio made universal pre-K a major goal of his administration. The city set up nearly 300 new pre-K sites. All but one signed a contract with the city. Guess who that one is.
Eliza Shapiro reports at Politico New York:
“The Success Academy charter school network has refused to sign mandatory contracts granting the city Department of Education oversight over its pre-kindergarten program, deputy mayor Richard Buery said Thursday, signaling the latest showdown between the charter network and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration….

“If Success does not sign the contracts, the city will withhold payment. Success will technically be able to provide its own pre-K programs — just without city funds.

“The charter network, New York City’s largest and most controversial, was approved to offer five pre-K classes in three locations under de Blasio’s universal pre-K program earlier this year. But Success’ legal team has told the city they will not sign the contract, according to city officials, because it would authorize DOE oversight over the privately operated network.

“All the other 277 pre-K providers that have been sent contracts have signed them, according to the administration, including nine charter schools. …The DOE first sent Success its contracts on August 4, according to the letter, and followed up with the network’s legal team on August 27.

“The letter says that the city would be in violation of its city-mandated contracting rules if it did not provide a signed contract for Success, and would violate its state pre-K grant by not inspecting pre-K programs. ”

Oversight, transparency, and accountability are for “the little people,” as billionaire Leina Helmsley once memorably said about paying taxes.

One can’t help but wonder whether the four-year-olds will be suspended as often as the five-year-olds. According to Eva’s philosophy, the sooner litte kids are suspended, the less likely they are to require suspension later. Of course, if they are suspended frequently, they won’t be around later. They will be back in public school. You know, those places that accept all children and that get inspected and audited.

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