Teach for America Claims DC Stiffed It

     WASHINGTON (CN) - Teach for America, the nonprofit group that works as a sort of domestic Peace Corps, claims the District of Columbia refuses to pay it $200,000 for 42 special education teachers that DC schools asked for, and received, for the past school year.
     Teach for America helps recruit, train and support "outstanding recent college graduates who commit to teach for 2 years in public schools," according to its Superior Court complaint.
     Teach for America says it has worked with D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) since 1992, during which time it has "recruited, selected, trained, placed, and supported hundreds of TFA corps members who have served DCPS."
     Teach for America says it agreed to provide 79 members for D.C. Public School for the 2009-2010 school year, at a cost to the city of $157,500. It says the city asked for an additional 42 special education teachers, at an additional cost of $210,000, and that it provided the additional teachers.
     But it says the addition to the contract was not properly processed: "(T)he outstanding balance of $199,160 was rejected because the Accounts Payable Department could not locate an approved purchase order for that amount. This was the first time that TFA learned that DCPS apparently had not properly processed the special education addendum."
     So the city paid Teach for America only $168,000 of its $367,500 invoice.
     "According to DCPS, because the special education addendum was never properly executed, DCPS could not pay the outstanding invoice unless TFA initiated a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court seeking payment for the services rendered without an executed agreement," Teach for America says.
     So it sued for breach of contract. It seeks $199,160. It is represented by Alexander Dreier with Hogan Lovells.