Paul Vallas paid Chicago cronies $2,000 per day as consultants for New Orleans work

The New Orleans Times Picayune reported in March that Paul Vallas, who is now in charge of the New Orleans school system, paid a team of consultants, many of them retired Chicago teachers and administrators, as much as $2,000 a day for work in New Orleans. Above, standing: Armando Almendarez at the time of his retirement from Chicago in November 2005. Along with a number of other retired Chicago administrators, Almendarez was paid $2,000 per day for consulting work in New Orleans after Paul Vallas was appointed head of the New Orleans public school system. Others brought into New Orleans by Vallas included Cozette Buckney, Mary Dunne, and Phil Hansen. Substance archive photo by George N. Schmidt

“Most of the contracts for academic specialists signed early in Vallas’ tenure brought in advisers for $2,000 a day,” the newspaper reported. “In one example, Armando Almendarez, who held various positions with Chicago public schools under Vallas, including regional superintendent, had a $2,000-a-day contract to consult in the areas of curriculum and early childhood. Mary Dunne, a reading specialist who worked under Vallas in Chicago public schools’ Office of Accountability, was contracted at $2,000 a day to work on creating a Welcome School program for students enrolling in the district in the middle of the school year. Dunne also devised a re-entry placement test given to students.” Cozette Buckney also worked for Vallas in New Orleans. 


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