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HARLEM INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SCHOOL (HICS)
2116 7TH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10027
tel: 212 222-7798
Email:harlemschool124@yahoo.com | URL:www.harlem-school.com
A CHRISTIAN SCHOOL - Grade pre-K through 11TH
Founded 1976, Wallie Simpson, Founder and Principal

PETITION TO THE NYS ATTORNEY GENERAL, ANDREW M. CUOMO

The Lower East Side International Community School (LESICS) was founded in May 1976 and, in September 1997 began doing business as the Harlem International Community School. The school is a private nonprofit (501(c) (3), October 22, 1976) Christian School since 1997, and was awarded an absolute charter by the NYS Board of Regents, pre-k thru 8th grade in June 17 1988. The school was established to provide a financially accessible education option to underachieving public school students.

In March 2001, Eliot Spitzer, former New York State Attorney General issued a press release announcing that he had filed a lawsuit against the undersigned (Wallie Simpson), Prime Founder and principal of the Lower East Side International Community School. According to Mr. Spitzer, the lawsuit seeks to "prevent a privately-run Harlem high school from falsely representing to parents that the school is authorized to issue high school diplomas and administer Board of Regents exams." And "to permanently enjoin HICS from further engaging in deceptive, fraudulent and illegal business practices and pay restitution to parents who have enrolled their kids in the school."

The ambitious aspiration quest for political elevation and power caused Mr. Spitzer to use this lawsuit and other aggressive public charges in the media to create publicity for himself. Eliot Spitzer’s campaign office even PAID Google [URL:http://opinionjournal.com/wsj/?id=110006576"] to link a search for “AIG” to a website promoting his campaign before it was quickly taken down. This would have linked web surfers to articles about Eliot Spitzer auditing American International Group Inc. over reports that AIG improperly booked workers' compensation premiums, providing an "unlawful benefit" to the company worth tens of millions of dollars. That said, it is very likely that Mr. Spitzer paid Google and other search engine operators to make his press releases as New York State Attorney General rank high in the web searches.

Seven years later, his press release announcing a lawsuit against HICS still ranks high in Google and other search engines. We appeal to your integrity and sensitivity to justice to remove this blemish of the Harlem International Community School from the website.

Mr. Spitzer’s charges were laden with inaccuracies, which were not aggressively refuted because this school did not have funds to hire the appropriate legal services. LESICS lost the case and we were advised not to appeal because we did not have money. Moreover, we expected Supervisor of the Office of Nonpublic School Services (ONSS) of the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to approve this school's petition to include grades ninth thru twelfth instruction. A petition to change the schools name and address was also submitted to ONSS on July 1997. The Supervisor, Thomas Hogan would not approve our petition, citing the judge’s decision as the reason, even though the petition was submitted BEFORE the trial began. Nevertheless, WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT THE NEW APPLICATION we are drafting to register HICS’ High School to ISSUE DIPLOMAS WILL BE APPROVED.

The immediate and URGENT goal of this school is to have the current New York State Attorney General remove the 2001 press release regarding our case from the Office of the Attorney General's (OAG) website. This document with URL [www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2001/mar/mar29b_01.html] should be removed for the following reason:

[1] This school was the victim of a grave miscarriage of justice. The OAG used misleading information from a letter this school received from the Supervisor of the ONSS as the basis for suing LESICS. If that letter had validity, the NYSED would have closed this school. The Attorney General sued this school for political gain at the request of the then State Senator David Patterson, who did so to satisfy his colleague, the then President of the Borough of Manhattan C. Virginia Fields. Ms. Fields' purpose was to pacify former disgruntled LESICS' parents who were "inner circle" constituents. Careful research has revealed that in the 1940's court case of Packer Collegiate Institute v. University of the State of New York et al. the court ruled that the Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education could NOT mandate that a nonpublic school nursery and kindergarten, as well as a nonpublic High School register with the NYSED. Therefore, the NYSED manages a voluntary registration program. Although we did not know about the Packer Collegiate Institute v. University of the State of New York et al. case when we submitted a petition to include a high school, we did so because we wanted the structure of LESICS to be in full compliance with the New York State education law. Thus we relied on ONSS Supervisor to let us know about the NYSED requirements. We later learned that we only needed to complete requirements only to register LESICS High School, not to amend this school's absolute charter to include grades 9th thru 12th instruction. If we choose not to register LESICS High School, we still could legally operate a High School but we can only issue High School graduation certificates, not diplomas. Moreover, students in unregistered High Schools are entitled, by law, to have access to regent tests administered by a registered High School. In fact, there are records of lawsuits filed by parents who home-schooled their children and were denied participation in state regents tests and the parents won.

[2] Since its inception, LESICS has provided scholarship assistance to more than 75% of its students and full scholarships to 2%. We never cheated parents in tuition. In fact, the two students who submitted affidavits against this school to the OAG had each been given tuition discounts and the $750 application fee had been waived.

[3] The indictment on Mr. Spizer's press release completely undermines the fact that LESICS has provided top quality education since 1976. It also warps this school's positive academic reputation and alienates parents who might want to send their children here for an education.

[4] This school plays a major role in reversing the educational decline of our country's institutions of learning, which, unfortunately lags far behind other countries. The NYC Mayor and many many parents are also courageously addressing the dire need for education reforms.

[5] Over the many years of this school's existence, LESICS has contributed over $4,000,000 to federal, state and city government from Employee's withholding taxes; and saved the city approximately $6,000,000 in public school tuition for the hundreds of students who have attended and currently attend this private school. This school has never received Federal, State or City funds.

Mr. Cuomo, please help this school restore its good reputation and continue to help educate our children.


Sincerely,

Wallie Simpson, Founder and Principal