Sep 28, 2013

Allentown School District Gets F In Business Ethics

Although the students have been responding well to the new uniform dress policy, molovinsky on allentown has learned that the School Administration has been misbehaving. School vouchers for the uniforms, which up to 25% of families have requested, can only be used at one business, New York Urban or it's sister store, Archives, both owned by the same party. Urban/Archives happen to be a City Hall favorite. All other merchants, some even displaced from Hamilton Street by the arena, will not be reimbursed for the vouchers. The unlevel playing field is nothing new to City Hall, but it's sad to see it employed by the School District. One merchant gets to stay on Hamilton Street, receive grants, and now have over 4,000 customers* sent to him, while everyone else has to compete in the free marketplace. Only in Allentown. 

*25% of 17,000+ Allentown school students

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good speaking with you today. Uniforms should be beneficial to all businesses. I will pass this concern on to the administration. -Ce-Ce Gerlach

Anonymous said...

Uniforms are a good idea so long as the faculty and staff have to wear them too. Preferably inverse colors for recognition. Why faculty and staff? For the same reasons as students. And if they don't, they are teaching - "Do as I say, not as I do."

Anonymous said...

12:13. Isn't it enough that teachers already have to buy their own paper to make copies for their classrooms, and also supply the children with pencils and other classroom supplies out of their own pocket, because the district does not provide these things. Now you want them to go out and replace their wardrobes.

michael molovinsky said...

i will not be hosting any more comments about whether or not teachers should also wear uniforms.

Anonymous said...

Michael,

Have you gone into any of the stores listed on the ASD website that are located in city limits of Allentown? New York Urban and The Archive are the only stores which made a commitment to carry a full inventory of approved uniforms for ASD students.

While other stores in Allentown and Whitehall have a couple racks of uniforms (I have seen first hand shopping for my boys) the one store who is fully stocked YEAR ROUND and provides great customer service is New York Urban and The Archive.

As for vouchers that isn't my department to comment but if I'm ASD I find the best operation within city limits and work with them so that all needs of ASD students can be met efficiently. The uniform store located in their 6th/Hamilton location is huge, no other store comes close with inventory and service.

Would you have preferred ASD sending families to Whitehall with vouchers or to other stores who can't meet their needs thus making the vouchers meaningless?

michael molovinsky said...

@10:40, yes i have gone into other allentown stores listed on the ASD website, which by the way clearly steers parents to the urban/archieve stores, even those NOT in need of vouchers. your comment is apologetic for an improper policy. you say stocked year round, the program just started 1 month ago! other stores also have a large selection and provide good service. parents have the responsibility , if not the cost, of these uniforms. They should be able to shop where they please. this story will go mainstream, hopefully with proper attribution to this blog. i suggest you change the policy in short order, rather than try to justify a mistake.

Anonymous said...

Has this city ever heard of the free market? City Hall and the ASD seem enamored of rigged deals that ignore the will of the consumer.

Anonymous said...

Your are right Michale.I known not only ASD but the Allentown city government always do things which they would get extra benefits from with those merchants or contractors they recommended.Why because,they get some return back from them (merchants & contractors).Who would like to carry a large amount of school uniforms since those vouchers are worthless to them.

michael molovinsky said...

@5:53, you raise an interesting point. i bet that any merchant would carry a full line if they had an exclusive on the vouchers. i will also bet that with the sunshine that this post will create, that the monopoly will end.

John Patton said...

Michael, I understand where you are coming from with this story and I do agree with the monopoly situation. BUT, I have to agree with 10:40. Other stores do NOT have proper inventory. I highly doubt you have been to these other merchants looking for specific sizes for specific age children. Going in and poking around to see a bunch of clothing is no way to judge whether or not they have all sizes in stock. I drove to 5 stores outside of center city Allentown looking for size 8 pants for boys. Not one single store outside of center city Allentown had these in stock. NY Urban was the only one ... and they had lots of them.

The program may have started a month ago, but these stores have been stocking uniforms since the school district put this in place officially, months ago. There is no excuse as to why these other merchants do not have enough in stock.

I chose to shop where I pleased. The problem was, i was very displeased with the limited amount of sizes at these 'better' stores (old navy being one of them).

If you want these stores included with the voucher program, then they need to step it up and provide uniforms in every size. ASD quite possibly may have been steering parents in the right direction knowing something others didn't know (stock availability).

michael molovinsky said...

john, i don't think you get the point. the marketplace should decide which merchants end up stocking and selling the most uniforms, not an administrator on penn street. having spend time previously in the urban/archieve store(s), i can tell you that elementary age children, or school uniforms, was not their type of merchandize; they were tutored for this windfall.

Anonymous said...

Maybe policies like this come about...because we have too many administrators with time on their hands on Penn Street.

Anonymous said...

A trifling issue. Try to buy a uniform from one of the other vendors.

They stocked them for a few weeks but now that the supply has run out they cannot be found and from what I hear little or no interest to restock.

We always need drama in Allentown though.

Perhaps there is a simple explanation to this issue and it really is not a grand conspiracy of how crooked and tainted anyone in public office in Allentown is.

michael molovinsky said...

@7:38, first of all it's not a uniform, it's a pair of kaki pants and a polo shirt in limited choice of colors. these are currently available in a variety of stores. other merchants also would have liked to be able to accept vouchers. there is a simple explanation, the district was steering parents to one business and giving them a monopoly on the vouchers. i didn't say that it was crooked, do you know something i don't? future anonymous comments of the apologist or excuse nature may not appear, i've already hosted a number of them.

Anonymous said...

I believe this voucher monopoly was a wonderful idea.If true, one person can receive all the profits.The Allentown School District found a way to make someone a profit.The taxpayers funding this voucher program should be pleased