April 18, 2014 11:56 amA tutoring company billing itself as “The trusted name for specialized tutoring” may not be so trustworthy after all. Unless, that specialty is in defrauding the federal government.
The Academic Advantage, whose website is endorsed by The Governator himself —Arnold Schwarzenegger – and former LA Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines, was busted scamming millions from federal supplemental-education services funds intended for needy students in under-performing public schools, according to a report in the New York Post.
The tutoring center, which has offices in Pasadena and Manhattan, forged student signatures on attendance sheets in New York for years, receiving $14 million from the government between 2010 to 2012, the report said.
The feds found out, sued the company and nine of its staffers, and now the they’ve agreed to pay back $2 million.
Schwarzenegger’s endorsement is pretty generic on the web site, but Cortines gets specific:
“I have yet to come across an after-school educational program that is more effective at equipping children with the tools they need to succeed in their schooling and beyond,” he says. “It’s no wonder The Academic Advantage has risen to become one of the nation’s leading tutoring programs.”
A telephone message left for Academic Advantage in Pasadena was not returned.
NOT JUST ARNOLD & RAY CORTINES …BUT DUFFY TOO!: According to his LinkedIn profile, former UTLA President AJ Duffy worked for Academic Advantage as a consultant from February 2012 – September 2012 : “Advised Academic Advantage on making inroads into the LA Community. Academic Advantage offers free tutoring in math and language arts through the federal No Child Left Behind initiative.” smf: In the spirit of full disclosure Duffy introduced me as a PTA leader to Academic Advantage and encouraged my PTA District to publicize (but not endorse) Academic Advantages’ services to our membership.