Conn. Education Agency Draws Scrutiny

Marion Herbert's picture
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Connecticut auditors are examining the relationship between the Department of Education and a Middletown agency called the State Education Resource Center, which paid more than a quarter million dollars to two consultants without competitive bidding.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, citing reports on the contracts in the Hearst Connecticut Newspapers, on Tuesday ordered his staff to look into the issue as well.

But as early as 2008, state auditors questioned the relationship between SERC and the Department of Education. In 2008 and 2010, auditors recommended that if it were to continue to have a financial relationship with the Department of Education, SERC should attain nonprofit status.

Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor said last week he believed SERC is a nonprofit, which allowed him to let contracts to two education consultants without adhering to state bidding procedures or requests for proposals. But legislation that would have codified nonprofit, 501c3 status for SERC failed during the 2011 legislative session.

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