Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Memo to education companies


District cuts its ties with Va. companyBy Susan Snyder
Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School District said yesterday it would sever ties with K12, the Virginia company that came under fire earlier this school year after its cofounder made controversial comments about aborting black babies.

The company's $3 million contract to provide elementary science curriculum materials expired yesterday, and the School Reform Commission will not extend it, as the administration originally had planned to do, officials said.

A majority of commission members voted in November to honor the contract - eliciting an outcry from some community members - but indicated they would review it when it came up for renewal. None of the members who supported the contract in November returned calls yesterday to explain why they opted to discontinue the relationship with K12.

"The commission considered whether to terminate the contract at that point even though it would have meant a financial penalty, and the majority said they were not willing to do that," district spokeswoman Cecilia Cummings said. "As of today, the contract is no longer in play."

Cummings declined to say why.

"I can't comment beyond that," she said.

The controversy started in September when William Bennett, cofounder of K12, said on his national radio show: "If you wanted to reduce crime... you could abort every black baby in this country."
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