Mayor Bill de Blasio was joined by staff and other elected officials on Thursday in rebuffing a scathing audit of the mayor’s prekindergarten program by Comptroller Scott Stringer, reported the New York Observer.
In the report released on Wednesday, Stringer criticized the mayor’s Department of Education for not submitting for review more than 70 percent of the city’s contracts with pre-K providers, calling the mayor’s rapid pre-K expansion an admirable but flawed exercise.
The analysis went on to point out that one former employee of a vendor was charged with conspiracy to commit child pornography, and another vendor had six violations for failing to screen employees through the New York State Central Register of Child Abuse and Mistreatment.
The mayor scoffed at the audit, saying of the last two points, that they were issues that had already been addressed and resolved. “I don’t know what to make of it,” the mayor said of the analysis. He later added, “I don’t know why any public official would want to leave parents with a misimpression that there’s a danger when there isn’t any.”
Public Advocate Letitia James also came to the mayor’s defense, stating, “All of this obviously was acknowledged and the individual who is the author of that report obviously was informed of all that. And that’s why I stand with this administration, because I know they are dedicated to excellence: nothing less, nothing more than pure excellence.”