Turnaround for Children Inc.’s staff: ‘We’re overworked!’

Kate Felsen

Why does Turnaround for Children Inc. have its own staff publicist?

So it can fritter away donors’ dollars by hiring outside contractors to do the “work” that would otherwise presumably be done by Kate Felsen, who is Turnaround’s mouthpiece-in-chief.

Case in point:

When Turnaround won a $332,500 state, taxpayer-funded grant to promote its alleged work with public-school students at risk, it hired

to drum up a press release announcing the multi-thousand-dollar hand-out.
Here is the press release showing evidence of Turnaround’s profligate spending habits.
turnaround press release
That press release was written by Kerri Lyon, a well-recompensed senior vice president at SKDKnickerbocker:
Kerri Lyon

But the real question is, how much was Lyon paid to create a useless press release?

After all, just two days before, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had issued his own press release announcing the same contract, as you can see here:

cuomo press release turnaround
So we have Turnaround spending a taxpayer grant to hire someone to write a press release that the governor had already issued and which Turnaround itself could have cribbed at a fraction of the cost – at the hand of Turnaround flak Kate Felsen?
And this is the same Turnaround organization that claims to have the financial-management skills to run a reform-education program in Newark’s schools?
Speaking of which, Felsen is so busy farming her work out to private contractors that she hasn’t found the time to answer our basic question:
Which schools will Turnaround be operating in come September?
We’ll get back to you when Felsen comes up with an answer.
Meanwhile, if you are wondering, “who the hell is SKDKnickerbocker?” here is what republicreport.org says about that company:
As we’ve reported, SKDKnickerbocker is led by a team of former Democratic operatives and key White House figures.
But instead of promoting a progressive agenda, or even an Obama agenda, these consultants score huge contracts by helping corporate interests lobby for policies that are not in line with the public interest. Many SKDKnickerbocker employees, including Anita Dunn, a former White House communications director, are also frequent White House visitors.

We’ve compiled a partial list of SKDKnickerbocker’s clients.

Since the firm refuses to register as an ordinary lobbying firm, we don’t know their full roster of clients:

-– SKDKnickerbocker was hired by Kaplan Education to block Obama’s reforms on for-profit college companies, an industry plagued by low quality education, false promises to students, and fraudulent business practices.

-– SKDKnickerbocker was hired to push for billions in tax breaks for already profitable corporations. As Bloomberg reported, SKDKnickerbocker manages a lobbying campaign called “Win America,” an effort by companies like Google and Pfizer to receive hundreds of billions in tax breaks on profits made overseas.

-– SKDKnickerbocker was hired by a coalition of food manufacturers to fight the Obama administration’s proposals on food nutrition standards. As the Washington Post reported, the firms paying Dunn include General Mills and PepsiCo.

– SKDKnickerbocker consults for Students First, a lobbying group aimed at destroying collective bargaining, and replacing public education with a mix of charters, private schools, and online learning companies.

According to documents revealed by the blog At The Chalk Face, Students First helped craft bills in Michigan to break teachers unions by severely limiting collective bargaining.

– SKDKnickerbocker previously worked with the Association of American Railroads, a group representing large railroad companies. When the railroad industry was in a pitched battle with their respective labor unions, SKDKnickberbocker produced ads for the railroad lobby.

– See more at: http://www.republicreport.org/2012/real-hilary-rosen-scandal/#sthash.XXh0tPBf.dpuf


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