Despite significant concerns regarding a no-bid contract awarded to a vendor who will administer the state’s voucher program, legislative leaders have no plans to take action to stop ClassWallet or the Department of Education from circumventing the legislative process. That’s according to a report from the Associated Press.
Late last year, the education agency selected ClassWallet to help administer the applications and funds once the state’s voucher program begins in the summer. However, due to the department using a noncompetitive grant process to select ClassWallet, the agreement never was submitted to the Legislature for review.
This sparked alarm among some lawmakers unhappy the education agency’s decision to select ClassWallet skirted legislative scrutiny, as well as uneasiness the contract resulted in a higher dollar amount than was budgeted the year before.
After calls for further investigation were made by Democratic lawmakers, McNally and House Speaker Cameron Sexton asked Lee to provide proof the department acted legally.
“When we asked the governor’s office for how they were able to use this as a grant, they were able to provide some legal authority that they believe gave them that power,” McNally, a Republican, told reporters Thursday. “We still have reservations about that.”
But when asked about revisiting the education department’s decision surrounding ClassWallet, McNally said no.
To be clear: The legislature mandates various accountability measures for teachers and schools — TVAAS, Priority Schools Lists, School Improvement Plans, etc. — but, when the Department of Education fails to follow the legislative process designed to foster accountability, they get a free pass.
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