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New York DOE criticized for pay raises for deputies accused of misconduct

Some city education officials are furious over big raises given to two educators after an internal investigation found they engaged in misconduct — and are blasting the secretive manner in which Chancellor David Banks and senior vice chancellor Dan Weisberg was handing out the pay raises.

“There is anger toward Banks and Weisberg, and questions about how they are funding the raises,” said a source familiar with the city Department of Education staff decisions.

Among those offended is Carolyn Quintana, vice chancellor for teaching and learning, the source said.

Quintana is spearheading Banks’ major initiative to improve the way children learn to read – and complained that her former vice chancellor for leadership, Desmond Blackburn, was paid $265,000 a year, while his salary is $241,000.

Two other vice chancellors also receive $241,000.

Blackburn, a rookie from Florida with no experience in New York, left after one year.

Banks replaced him with Danika Rux — and hired her husband, Shawn Rux, for another top spot after he agreed to give up his job as an education consultant.

Dan Weisberg failed to explain why he gave raises to two subordinates under investigation for misconduct.
New York Government

Quintana’s demand for equal pay was “ignored,” the source said.

His anger intensified when the Post revealed that Weisberg gave big raises to enrollment director Sarah Kleinhandler and her top manager shortly after a DOE investigation corroborated allegations of misconduct against them .

“They turned down Carolyn Quintana, but decided to give raises to two people accused of wrongdoing,” the source said.

Amanda Lurie, senior executive director of the Office of Student Enrollment, was a chronic absence, barely visiting the “family welcome centers” she supervised and selling clothing on Poshmark during DOE business hours, a concluded the agency’s Office of Special Investigations in late February. , according to former OSI investigator Jonathan May, who led the investigation.

DOE Vice Chancellor Carolyne Quintana is reportedly furious about pay disparities in the department.
DOE Vice Chancellor Carolyne Quintana is reportedly furious about pay disparities in the department.
LinkedinCaroline Quintana

Kleinhandler failed to supervise Lurie or respond to long-standing complaints about him, the investigation found.

A few weeks later, inexplicably, Weisberg named Lurie a “senior advisor” in his office and gave her a salary increase from $199,118 to $208,000 a year.

Kleinhandler got a raise from $204,106 to $220,000.

The Post report led DOE lawyers to question Weisberg about his handling of the OSI report. Lurie was later fired.

Currently, some 95 DOE employees in central and district offices earn more than $200,000 a year, according to records obtained by The Post.

Banks receive $363,346,

Experts are calling for more transparency in the granting of salary increases.

“This is public money and taxpayers have a right to know what the criteria for leadership spending are at the DOE, especially in an era of budget tightening,” said David Bloomfield, professor of education at Brooklyn College and at the CUNY Grad Center.

“This kind of maneuvering within the center only adds to the distractions and confusion, with leaders arguing over salaries rather than student issues,” he added.

“Before I pay them $241,000 or $265,000, I would want to know exactly what they feel responsible for,” said Eric Nadelstern, vice chancellor for school support and instruction under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“The argument for a raise,” he said, “should be what I did to improve the kids’ performance.”

Quintana did not respond to a request for comment.

New York Post

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