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Manhattan BP Blasts Contractor Scandals at DOE

by Julie Clark
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Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer with Mike Mulgrew
Julie Clark/WFUV

After a series of contract-related scandals, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer says he's fed up.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is calling for a freeze on all new, non-essential contracts at the Department of Education until they are reviewed.

The Department’s former CFO, George Raab, allegedly used department time and resources to set up a private firm. This is the third scandal to hit the DOE in recent weeks.

Stringer said at a press conference Wednesday that, “week after week new stories are emerging that require our collective outrage but our sense of mission to clean this mess up before we hurt the kids in the classroom.” Contract spending has increased 331% since fiscal year ’04 while education spending has increased only 58%.

He said, “The Mayor talks about laying off six-thousand teachers he misses the point. It’s not about the teachers it’s about outside consultants that are taking dollars that have no return on investment for the kids we’re supposed to protect,”

He and Mike Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers, said that they are not trying to criticize, but rather offer ways to reform. Stringer suggests a freeze on all new, non-essential contracts and giving the NYC Comptroller greater oversight on DOE contracts. He said new protocols should be established and more contracts need to be put up for approval by the Panel for Education Policy.

Some administrators are saying they cannot cutback from contracts. In response the Borough President said, “So with all of this increase of millions and millions of dollars over all of these years, they can’t cutback one dollar? That’s absurd. That is absurd.”

The DOE has yet to respond to our request for comment.
 

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