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A bus boondoggle: The architect behind a yearslong school bus tracking fraud should be fired


Since 2015, New York City has shelled out $8.6 million of your tax dollars to a company called Navman for GPS trackers to be installed in 6,000 yellow school buses, a necessary step for collecting data the city needed to recoup millions of federal Medicaid reimbursement dollars for transporting special education students.

You probably can fill in the rest of the story: The whole project was a colossal botch job from start to finish, according to a new report from the schools’ special commissioner of investigation.

Not a single Medicaid dollar has ever been recovered. The technology for tracking students, which most bus drivers never learned to use, was catastrophically flawed. Record-keeping has been sloppy and in some cases non-existent.

Blame a city bureaucrat named Alex Robinson, who had zero experience in the field of school bus transportation reimbursement despite representing herself to DOE officials as an expert, and her handpicked, grossly underqualified lackey Eden Perez. Both were warned repeatedly over the course of more than six years about huge problems. Over and over again, Robinson and Perez forged ahead, costs and complications be damned.

A new, hopefully functional GPS system is going into school buses starting early next year, so parents will have to wait a few more months for reliable information on their kids’ whereabouts. School officials are going to try again to claw back federal Medicaid money they’re rightfully owed.

Meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza have shaken up the Department of Education’s student transportation office a bit. It is an offense to basic accountability that the program’s chief architects, Robinson and Perez, have yet to be thrown under the bus.