From Chaos to Corruption: An Investigation into the 1993 Community School Board Election.Report as inadecuate

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A 10-month investigation by the City of New York Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District found widespread corruption and mishandling of the 1993 Community School Board election. School board elections are at the heart of school decentralization, and should enable local communities to exercise control over their schools. The 32 boards elected in May 1993 set policy and control budgets in excess of $100 million. The investigation found fraud and corruption as well as administrative mismanagement in many areas of the election process. Poor planning and coordination by the Board of Elections and the Board of Education led to lax registration of parent voters. In some areas, anyone could vote, often multiple times, and many parents were not allowed to vote at all. Contractors hired to count ballots did a poor job. Unqualified people were allowed to count ballots, and some ballots were lost. Many absentee ballots were cast under false names, without the knowledge and consent of the unsuspecting "voters." In some districts, teachers and staff were pressured into supporting a candidate. Election guidelines were also found to be ineffective and frequently broken. The investigation offered several recommendations for improving efficiency and safeguards in the election. (JPT)

Descriptors: Boards of Education, Community Schools, Elections, Elementary Secondary Education, Fraud, Investigations, Legal Problems, Political Campaigns, Politics of Education, Public Schools, Urban Education, Voting

Author: Brenner, Robert M.; And Others


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