In New Campaign, Zephyr Teachout and Working Families Party Push to Limit Hedge Fund Control over Public Education

Posted On December 2, 2014

Before Possible Special Session in Albany, Broad Coalition Condemns Hedge Fund Leaders Who Bought Control of Cuomo and State Senate and Now Want Control of Schools

New York, NY— The same hedge funds that bought the recent elections to win influence with Cuomo and Senate Republicans now want to use their clout to transform our public education system, but we’re not going to let it happen.

That was the message today from Zephyr Teachout, the Working Families Party, and a broad coalition of concerned parents. Ahead of a possible special legislative session in Albany next week, they gathered on the steps of the Tweed courthouse to launch a new campaign to fight the growing efforts of hedge funds to run New York’s schools and dictate education policy. 

They highlighted the fact that hedge fund managers who bankrolled Cuomo’s re-election and the Republicans’ takeover of the State Senate are the main drivers of an education agenda in Albany designed to siphon resources away from already-under-funded public schools and raise the cap on privately-run charter schools.

“Charters and their operators make money by draining public funds. All the money from cuts to public education can go toward more tax breaks for hedge-fund types. Some big donors and political leaders directly profit… They financed the Republican takeover of the New York State Senate. They spent millions of dollars to make sure voters across New York voted Republican or stayed home, so they could achieve their education overhaul,” writes Teachout, in a recent article in The Daily Beast on the topic.

“We refuse to let the forces that bought our elections transform our public education system. Zephyr Teachout is a force to be reckoned with and we’re proud to launch this fight with her for quality education for every student,” said Bill Lipton, New York State Director of the Working Families Party.

“Governor Cuomo and the Republican Majority in the Senate are in danger of becoming the puppets of hedge-fund billionaires who secured their elections. The move to privatize our education system is fully funded by hedge-fund billionaires who are the modern architects of inequality and cannot be allowed to control the education of our children. We have enough privately run charter schools, our children cannot afford to see more and more money taken out of our public to fund privately run charter schools,” said Zakiyah Ansari, a New York City public school parent leader and Advocacy Director for the Alliance for Quality Education.

The campaign will take its message and platform to Albany Wednesday, and in the coming days will engage parents, teachers, and grassroots groups statewide that want a stronger public education system that serves all children and families, not the interests of the wealthy elite.


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