New York Scraps $27 Million Contract With Murdoch Education Affiliate Wireless Generation
The state of New York has scrapped a controversial $27 million contract between Rupert Murdoch's Wireless Generation and the state's Education Department, the New York Daily News reports.
Wireless Generation tracks student test performance and is an independent subsidiary of News Corporation. The New York City Comptroller's office first approved the contract last month amid investigations surrounding Murdoch's involvement in the News of the World hacking scandal.
The amount from the contract was to come from the state's $700 million Race to the Top grant. State Controller Thomas DiNapoli "quietly rejected" the contract, citing News Corporation's "incomplete record" for qualifications, the Daily News reports.
DiNapoli's decision to sever the deal comes after teachers union leaders urged state officials early his month to drop the contract, according to HuffPost reports.
"It is especially troubling that Wireless Generation will be tasked with creating a centralized student database for personal information even as its parent company, News Corporation, stands accused of engaging in illegal news gathering tactics, including the hacking of private voicemail accounts," Michael Mulgrew and Richard Iannuzi, who respectively head New York City's and New York State's teachers' unions, wrote in a letter to state officials Aug. 4.