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Fact-checking Caroline Kennedy's role at the Dept of Ed

In the Village Voice, Wayne Barrett fact-checks the Bloomberg administration’s party line on how Caroline Kennedy reinvigorated the Fund for Public Schools.

What Kennedy and Chancellor Joel Klein claim:

Kennedy told the Times that the Fund was a mere “pass-through,” collecting “an average of $2 million a year” before she got there. “We kind of re-launched it and revitalized it, you know. Now, we’ve raised $238 million since then,” she said. Klein’s CNN article said that Caroline “took over an office that previously oversaw donations to PTAs and alumni associations and re-created it around a model of a public/private partnership,” claiming that “under her leadership, the Fund has raised more than $240 million.”

What Barrett found in actual documentation:

But the Fund’s tax forms show that the $11.2 million it raised in Caroline’s first fiscal year—which ran from July 1, 2002, to June 30, 2003 (she started the job that October)—was very similar to the $10.7 million raised the year before. The total actually dropped to $10.9 million in 2003-2004, the only full fiscal year that Kennedy was on staff. It grew to $14 million when she left, and then exploded nearly two years after she was gone, to $39.6 million. Kennedy and Klein’s figures of $238 million and $240 million credit her for everything the Fund raised for the four years that she was merely a board member, an absurd exaggeration.

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