More Than 70 Percent Of Universal Pre-Kindergarten Contracts Have Yet To Be Submitted By DOE
August 27, 2014
NEW YORK, NY — With only eight days remaining before the first day of school, the New York City Comptroller’s office has received only 141 of over 500 contracts for Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) service providers, preventing a complete, independent review and registration of over 70 percent of UPK contracts in advance of the first day of school on Sept. 4th.
“My office will continue to work expeditiously to review and register contracts as we receive them, in accordance with our Charter-mandated responsibility,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. “Universal Pre-K holds the promise of transforming our City’s educational process, which is why we have to get it right. But we cannot sacrifice safety in the name of expediency.”
Among the contracts reviewed to date, the Comptroller’s Office has uncovered significant problems, several of which are directly tied to the safety and security of our children. These included a vendor that had a former employee who was charged with conspiracy to commit child pornography, as well as a vendor that had six violations issued for failing to have required personnel screened with the New York State Central Register of Child Abuse and Mistreatment. The Administration has since been able to provide documentation to prove that those problems were addressed.
Under the City Charter, the Comptroller’s Office has 30 days to conduct integrity reviews on all contracts for corruption, fraud and fair contract practices. In addition, many contracts received to date have included other errors such as missing permits, inconsistent counts of students on multiple documents, and vendors not listed on the charities website as being up to date with filing requirements.
“I will continue to work closely with Mayor de Blasio to resolve these issues,” Stringer said. “I am confident that he will devote the necessary resources to ensuring the safety and security of these classrooms.”