Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CM James Submits FOIL Request to ACS for EarlyLearn NYC RFP Information

May 15, 2012

Contact Simone Hawkins at (212) 788-7081 or shawkins@council.nyc.gov

Council Member Letitia James Submits FOIL Request to ACS for EarlyLearn NYC RFP Information
The New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) released a concept paper and Request for Proposal (RFP)– EarlyLearn NYC- that aims to improve educational standards, raise supports for families, strengthen professional and instructional development for teachers, and encourage socio-economic diversity among participating centers.
On May 4, 2012, ACS released their recommended awardees for EarlyLearn NYC. The 149 selected sites are a combination of existing private and public early care and education services providers. The Administration for Children’s Services evaluated each proposal using three major criteria, which included multiple considerable factors: Demonstrated Quantity and Quality of Successful Relevant Experience (20%), Demonstrated Level of Organizational Capability (40%), and Quality of Proposed Approach (40%). These criteria were pre-approved by the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, better known as MOCS. 

“While I support ACS’ vision for EarlyLearn NYC, I believe the selection methodology and funding formulas set forth in the RFP is contrary to its goal and has ultimately led to the decimation of community staples formerly supported by the City. Centers that served communities for thirty plus years were not selected as ACS devalued a proposer’s relevant experience in the community and its commitment to diversity and culturally sensitive practices as only being worth a sixth of 20% of their total score.

Several centers in my district will be closed as a result of this RFP and many others have been significantly downsized as slots have been diverted to lesser known centers in and around the community. The citywide effect is even more detrimental. Over 6,500 children will be left without a slot come this November as a result of EarlyLearn. I believe something is extremely wrong with this picture and it is our time now to stand up and say enough is enough.

I requested under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Request for Records that ACS release any and all scored proposals to the EarlyLearn NYC RFP, justification for specific scores and its relative rank for each proposal, as well as, any and all records of the conduct of negotiations with Agency Chief Contracting Officer and the basis for every determination to continue or suspend negotiations. I expect to receive a response within five business days of ACS’ receipt of my request.

In the interim, I ask that all non-awarded centers request a debriefing date and appeal accordingly. I urge community members to attend the upcoming public hearing and families to participate in the parent forums. The salvation of our communities begins with us.”



Anonymous said...

Thank you for your concern. The families in the fort greene and bed stuy communities will suffer and so many dedicated people will lose their jobs. Child care providers will be forced to communicate with unknown people who do doubt will not have their best interest orbest interest of the families they serve. Please make a difference

Chester Lee said...

Thank you for your leadership on this, Tish! Every community in NYC is grateful to you.

As part of the FOIL request, it would be helpful to know the names of the people who scored each application / proposal, as well as their qualifications to be a scorer. The issue is whether the readers were even qualified to evaluate community-based proposals.

Thank you,

Chester Lee