Miami Herald | Colleen Wright | September 17, 2020
Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho’s nonprofit foundation is under investigation by the Office of the Inspector General regarding a solicited donation from K12, the company that provided the district with an online platform that didn’t work during a tumultuous first two weeks of virtual schooling.
Inspector General Mary Cagle, who works on the third floor of the school district’s downtown headquarters, notified School board members of the investigation in a memo late Wednesday.
Cagle is looking into a $1.57 million donation made to the Foundation for New Education Initiatives, a nonprofit created at the beginning of Carvalho’s tenure as superintendent in 2008 that he chairs.
Carvalho was not immediately available for comment.
K12, according to both the company and Carvalho, made the donation to incentivize teachers to schedule their online class sessions by midnight Aug. 31 after K12 provided too-little and too-late hands-on training before the start of school that Monday. That donation, which Carvalho said was deposited in the FNEI account, is said to be intended for a $100 gift card for every teacher who qualifies.
“By way of this memorandum, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) advises that we will begin a review of the transfer of approximately $1.57 million dollars from K12, a virtual instruction provider, to the Foundation for New Education Initiatives, Inc. (Foundation),” the memo read. “This Board’s discussion on Monday, September 14, of those funds, which are slated for disbursement by the Foundation to Miami-Dade County Public Schools teachers, raised some concerns that the OIG believes should be reviewed.”
The memo continued: “It is the OIG’s mission to provide oversight and transparency curcial to the operations of the District and the Board for the benefit of the public. As always, we are confident that the Superintendent and the District will cooperate fully with the OIG as we carry out our review.”
The Herald has reached out to the school district and Carvalho for comment.