Thursday, April 2, 2009

Public schools, private money

I don't think so

The Wonkster at Gotham Gazette, "Public Schools, Private Money," tells us how the game is played by Bloomberg/Klein.
All this may well have brought needed funds to city classrooms, but it also has created a tangled web and led to concerns about conflicts of interest and where the private roles stops and the public one begins.
Wonkster shows how companies like Alvarez & Marsal looted the city with the help of B/K and used the non-profit Fund for Public Schools to nail down no-compete contracts. Of course the latest hustle was the one to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars from the hedgefunders at Plainfield Asset Management Co. into the pockets of Rev. Al Sharpton to seal his political alliance with the mayor.
The money reportedly did not go directly to Sharpton but was channeled through Education Reform Now, a group Gonzalez said is headed by former Daily News reporter and charter school advocate Joe Williams, who also heads Democrats for Education Reform. Williams (another busy guy), who is president and treasurer of the Education Equity project, would not tell Gonzalez how the donation was handled or what it was used for.
Also see:

New York Public School Parents: "Al Sharpton's get out of jail card"
Fred Klonsky's blog: "What's the smell over at the Education Equality Project?"
Clay Burell: A $500k Donation the Same Day Sharpton Joins Klein? Mere Coincidence

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