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Why investigators don't send the PEP reports on their findings

An update on my post earlier today, about whether the school system’s Special Commissioner for Investigations should have to send his reports to more than just the schools chancellor. As I reported, the city’s position is that the acting Board of Education, the Panel for Educational Policy, shouldn’t receive the reports, even though SCI’s charter dictates that it should.

I first reported that I didn’t know why the city took that position. I just spoke to a spokeswoman at the city law department, who filled me in a bit more: The reason, she said, is buried in a little place you’ve probably never looked called education law section 2590-g, which governors the “Powers and duties of the city board.”

Here’s how the law begins:

The city board shall advise the chancellor on matters of policy affecting the welfare of the city school district and its pupils. The board shall exercise no executive power and perform no executive or administrative functions. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to require or authorize the day-to-day supervision or the administration of the operations of any school within the city school district of the city of New York.

I’m no lawyer, but I guess the argument goes that because the Board of Ed — e.g. the PEP — is no longer an executive power it also shouldn’t receive SCI reports? Or, alternatively, they’re arguing that reviewing SCI reports is a matter of “day-to-day supervision” or operations administration?

I’m not sure. The law department spokeswoman, Connie Pankratz, wouldn’t get into details.

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