Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Zephyr Continues to Haunt Cuomo Through the Backdoor - Is the Working Family Party and AQE the Right Route?

I don't really understand what Teachout and WFP are doing.  Cuomo is driving charter expansion, not the Senate.  Cuomo was the WFP candidate. Why are they attacking donors and not the guy doing the damage?... Patrick Sullivan
The WFP -- which picked Teachout as its candidate for governor before ditching her to endorse Cuomo in the Democratic primary last June -- is teaming up with its old ally to fight Cuomo's efforts to raise the state's cap on charter schools in a possible special session next week.... they plan to release a report entitled “Corruption in Education: The Hedge Fund Takeover of New York's Schools.".... The Daily News
Well, some would say what else is there? Remember that the UFT and other unions lined up to screw Teachout when she tried to get on the WPF nomination. The UFT/NYSUT tries to play both sides of the fence. Teachout had the ed agenda in the interests of teachers and public schools but the UFT/NYSUT machine went the other way, in essence helping hand Cuome the WPF line in the election.

Jim Horn at Schools Matter posted:

Scraping Off the Hedge Fund Scum

Anticorruption activist Zephyr Teachout in a protest on the the steps of the Tweed Courthouse in New York City. Molly Hensley-Clancy for BuzzFeed News
From BuzzFeed:
A small group of parents and activists targeted hedge fund billionaires Dan Loeb, Paul Singer, and Paul Tudor Jones in a protest today over New York state education funding.
Led by Zephyr Teachout, an anti-corruption activist who ran against Andrew Cuomo in the recent New York governor’s race, the protestors decried the political influence of New York’s wealthiest financiers on public education — namely through the billionaires’ longstanding political and financial support of charter schools.

The group’s rallying point was a rumored special session of the New York legislature, which Teachout said was likely to take place next week. At that session, Teachout said, Governor Cuomo will push to raise the maximum number of charter schools allowed by the state, at the urging of charter advocates like Loeb. If the cap is not raised, as it was in 2010, there will likely be just 17 slots left for new charter schools in New York City.

At the protest, drenched in freezing rain on the steps of Tweed Courthouse in New York City, demonstrators held signs printed with the faces of hedge fund billionaires. Beneath were the campaign contributions each had made in New York, mostly to pro-charter advocates. Protestors chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, these hedge funders have got to go,” and “Hey governor one percent, who do you represent?”

Teachout said today’s protest would be the beginning of a week-long effort to fight against increasing the charter cap and advocate for more funding of public schools. In coordination, she released her first white paper, “Corruption in Education: Hedge Funds and the Takeover of New York Schools.”

Teachout pointed to the pro-charter group Families for Excellent Schools, which spent almost $6 million in a lobbying blitz in the first half of 2014, largely on a fight for charter school space, which the group won. The New York Teachers’ union spent $2.6 million in the same period.

As with most education debates in New York City, rhetoric at the protest quickly turned to Eva Moskowitz and Success Academy, a charter school that has long been a lightning rod for pro- and anti-charter advocates. Moskowitz’s charter school group is poised for a massive expansion in New York City, adding 14 schools in the next two years and bringing Success to a total of 50 schools in the city.

Loeb, the CEO of Third Point Capital, has been an outspoken supporter of charter schools and especially of Success Academy, where he chairs the board of directors. He has a net worth of $1.5 billion. Tudor Jones, Singer, and the billionaire Carl Icahn have all prominently backed other charter schools and legislation. . . .
And Perdido Street School did a piece too:

Zephyr Teachout Publicizes Cuomo's Planned Giveaway Of Public Schools To His Hedge Fund Buddies

I don't know what to say anymore. Where is the Green Party with its excellent ed platform on this? Why weren't they part of this? The WFP can't get unqualified support when it plays games, yet people feel they can't not support efforts like these.

Here is the email that came in with a link to their report.
The same real estate and hedge fund billionaires that spent a fortune to buy control of the State Senate on Election Day are quickly moving on to their next big project: trying to buy our public education system.

With a new legislative session kicking off in January -- and the prospect of a special session being called even earlier than that -- there's no time to waste.

Join us and tell Governor Cuomo and state legislators: Don't let Wall Street buy our public education system the same way they bought the last election.

All New York children deserve a quality public education -- but whether they get one or not right now depends largely on where they live. The funding gap between our state's 100 wealthiest school districts and our 100 poorest school districts is an astonishing $8,601 per student. [1]

But instead of closing this gap and fully funding the public school system that serves 97% of New York students, the hedge fund billionaires have a different plan: more tax breaks for the wealthy and more taxpayer funding of privately-run charter schools, many of which don't admit students likely to bring down their test scores.

Unfortunately, we now have a State Senate majority that seems more inclined to take care of their campaign funders than to represent their own constituents. They may soon be considering policies like using scarce public dollars to subsidize private schools, or raising the cap on privately-run charter schools without increasing accountability or transparency.

It's going to take all of us working together to make sure their attacks on public education don't come to pass. That's why we'll be going all out with our allies in the coming weeks to make sure every elected official in Albany knows we expect them to stand with our families and children, not Wall Street billionaires.

If you agree, the one thing you can do that will help the most right now is to make sure your lawmakers and Gov. Cuomo know where you stand.

Tell Governor Cuomo and state legislators: Stand up for public schools that serve all of our children. Don't let Wall Street buy our public education system.

Bill Lipton and Zephyr Teachout

[1] http://www.aqeny.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Tale-of-Two-States-Report_FINAL.pdf

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