As the Feed reported yesterday, federal authorities are investigating Chaka Fattah Jr., the son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah.
The Philadelphia Inquirer broke the story with these details:
“Federal authorities are investigating why a company owned by the son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah was paid $450,000 by an education firm that has received millions in contracts from the Philadelphia School District, according to sources familiar with the probe.”
Fattah, Jr. owns a consulting company that has worked for an alternative school run by attorney David Shulick.
In a statement yesterday, Shulick said investigators took documents from Chaka Fattah Jr.’s office at Shulick’s legal firm. Shulick says the probe is unrelated to his law clients.
Here is that response:
1. From the perspective of David Shulick, Chaka Fattah, Jr., is being victimized merely because his last name is “Fattah.” Mr. Shulick has both a personal and professional relationship with Chaka Fattah, Jr., and cares about him. From Mr. Shulick’s perspective, he is dealing with issues that nobody without the last name “Fattah” would have to deal with.
2. Unlike CEP, the company that was mentioned by Martha Woodall today, where she wrote the following quote about DVHS: “The school was authorized to take 100 students in 2008-2009. The following year, Delaware Valley’s number jumped to 400 students, even as CEP’s contract was cut from 1,800 students to 383 and other providers were added.” DVHS earned the right to relocate its school with 125, not 100, students, from its original 13550 Bustleton Avenue Campus, pursuant to responding to RFP 233. While DVHS bid $8,800 per seat, DVHS’s competitors bid and have been paid $10,200 per seat. Accordingly, the statement, as worded, borders on libel and slander, and will be clarified in this written statement.
3. DVHS was founded in 1969 and has always proudly touted how it has charged much, much less to the School District of Philadelphia (and others) when compared to its competitors. What the Inquirer failed to mention, is that DVHS, unlike its competitors, has always proudly held a Pennsylvania Department of Education Private Academic License with “special education credentials.” DVHS, while being paid the least, has consistently and repeatedly outperformed all other alternative education institutions and internal District-run programs based on objective data. In fact, Holy Family University studied DVHS, and issued a research report in 2007 explaining why DVHS is so successful. Why wasn’t that mentioned by the Inquirer?
4. There is nothing wrong with consistently supporting politicians on both sides of the aisle, Democratic and Republican, and Mr. Shulick proudly stands behind his appropriate and fully compliant contributions, including contributing to Mayor Nutter’s campaign, Congressman Robert Brady’s campaign for Mayor, Tom Knox’s campaign for Mayor, Governor Corbett’s campaign, Dan Onorato’s campaign, and Mr. Shulick serves as a Board Member of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyer’s Association, and served as a Senate Club Member of the American Israeli Political Affairs Committee. Perhaps, if the Inquirer would have given Mr. Shulick an opportunity to speak with them fully before they issued the article, they would have understood that Mr. Shulick, as a private citizen, with a private law firm, with a private school, has never achieved any pecuniary gain through any wrongful means. In fact, since Ms. Woodall mentioned CEP in the article, Mr. Shulick’s response is: Why hasn’t she ever published a story about how, during Speaker Perzel’s tenure, legislatively directed “Alternative Education Demonstration Grants” flowed in directly to CEP, while Speaker Perzel helped to sell CEP in Allegheny County!?! The Inquirer also failed to mention that Mr. Shulick dutifully, as an attorney, reported all of this to the School District of Philadelphia and Federal Department of Education and the U.S. Attorney’s office. Perhaps it was the 34% attendance rate that CEP achieved at DVHS Southwest while CEP was running it as to why the School District reduced their contract?!?
5. Notably, DVHS has never received one dime of grant funding from any non-profit. Furthermore, Mr. Shulick’s private charity, the Judith B. Shulick Memorial Foundation, has never received one dime of Federal, State, or local funds. Why didn’t the Inquirer ever respond to any of the press releases issued over the last two years regarding all of JBS and Mr. Shulick’s work, highlighting the positives and the at-risk youth?
6. Mr. Shulick, the entire Shulick Family, the entire DVHS Staff, and the Shulick Law Offices Staff are successful for one reason and one reason only: HARD WORK! What was not mentioned in the article was the following, in pertinent part:
a. DVHS is the only alternative school with KSYS software, something that DVHS offered to the School District of Philadelphia for free, and offered to allow the District to use it with all of DVHS’s competitors. This software, in large part, allows DVHS (unlike its competitors) to manage at-risk youth in a much more effective and efficient way so that they remain on track and successful.
b. DVHS just delivered a document to the School District that shows how DVHS has been consistently underutilized by the District, and could continue to save the District millions and millions of dollars of critical taxpayer funds.
c. DVHS is not the largest school by any means in southeast Pennsylvania. Its competitor, Camelot Schools, who has consistently charged much more than DVHS, is a much larger national entity with many more students in Philadelphia, Lancaster, New Jersey, New Orleans, and otherwise. To the contrary, DVHS is a Pennsylvania Company based in Philadelphia, operated by a caring staff, and committed to its core mission since 1969 – at-risk youth in Philadelphia.
d. The York School District sought out DVHS, not the other way around! They asked DVHS to come present. As of today, Mr. Shulick is not even certain that DVHS wants to take on any opportunity that is more than two hours away, because DVHS wants to make sure that its compliance staff, who routinely audit DVHS operations for Mr. Shulick, and the DVHS Executive Team, can properly oversee any DVHS campus, so that DVHS can continually ensure excellent services and compliance with its operating protocols.
e. There has not been a week that has gone by in ten (10) years where Mr. Shulick, the DVHS Executive Staff, and otherwise, have not worked hand in hand ensuring quality and cost-effective educational services to DVHS students, whether in Philadelphia, Bucks County, Montgomery County, and otherwise.
f. DVHS and Mr. Shulick, personally, have repeatedly asked the Inquirer and the Daily News to come for a tour of DVHS Kelly and/or DVHS Southwest and/or DVHS Bucks. It is pathetic that the only thing those newspapers “jump on” is the fact that a search warrant was issued for someone with the last name “Fattah.”