The California ed-tech firm that hired ex-schools Chancellor Richard Carranza cashed in on the COVID-19 pandemic in NYC, reaping millions of dollars from the Department of Education under his reign, records show.
IXL Learning, Inc. — which named Carranza its chief of strategy and global development — has been paid $3.3 million by the DOE in the past two years alone.
The Silicon Valley outfit has collected $2.1 million in NYC taxpayer funds this school year. That nearly doubled the $1.2 million it made last school year as the DOE expanded remote instruction, according to records compiled by the city comptroller’s office.
Observers expect IXL’s windfall to grow with Carranza as its salesman.
He “brings to the table a wealth of contacts and people who owe him favors” in New York, Houston and San Francisco, where he has led school districts, said Alina Adams, a Manhattan mom and writer who runs the website “NYC School Secrets: Parents Helping Parents.”
“Some of the people in charge of deciding whether or not to buy IXL products will be the same people that Carranza hired.”
Carranza’s new gig as a top executive for a DOE vendor raises serious conflict-of-interest questions.
Under NYC laws, city employees may not seek jobs — including submit a resume, discuss opportunities, or interview — with a company they are dealing with as part of their city job, the Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB) states.
Carranza announced his resignation on Feb. 26, saying he needed time to grieve 11 loved ones lost to COVID-19. IXL announced his hiring in a press release dated April 1, less than three weeks after his last day as chancellor.