The Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent is speaking out about the investigation into his nonprofit foundation.
You may have seen the story in multiple newscasts on NBC 6 Thursday. The K12 company, which made the distance learning platform My School Online, donated $1.57 million to the The Foundation for New Education Initiatives. The money was earmarked for teacher bonuses.
Now for the first time since the Miami Herald initially reported that the Miami-Dade school district’s inspector general was investigating the donation, Alberto Carvalho has commented publicly about the matter.
“I’m here to tell you we welcome the scrutiny of any good deed, why shouldn’t we? Particularly a good deed, a gift, an investment, recognition of the hardest working individuals anywhere in the country, our teachers,” Carvalho said at a news conference with representatives from the Miami-Dade League of Cities.
They had gathered at Holmes Elementary School to pass out school supplies to needy families.
Carvalho is essentially saying: 'Bring it on, I have nothing to hide.' Remember, this was not a secret. During the first week of school, Carvalho announced the K12 donation, saying the money would be given to teachers who completed their training on the new platform before the first day of school.
“This was a recognition, an appreciation, an incentive, of the really hard conditions teachers faced during a very difficult implementation of a platform by a company that has admitted it failed us,” Carvalho said.
The plan was to give each teacher $100, Carvalho said at the time and again today. But now, the inspector general, Mary Cagle, is investigating the donation as questions were raised by some school board members about the propriety of a private company under contract to the district making that sort of donation.
“The process and openness and transparency should always be the constants and that’s something I support,” Carvalho said today.
Cagle sent a letter to the school board chair and to Carvalho on Wednesday, saying the donation by K12 to the foundation “raised some concerns that the OIG believes should be reviewed.”
“I trust and respect immensely the objectivity, the professionalism of Ms. Mary Cagle and I know that as she reviews the process that led to a gift to our teachers in recognition of hard work they did in difficult times I know she and her organization will reach the right conclusions,” Carvalho said.
Carvalho says the money is waiting to be dispersed to the teachers in the form of gift cards.
The Office of Inspector General investigation is just starting.