A close-up look at NYC education policy, politics,and the people who have been, are now, or will be affected by acts of corruption and fraud. ATR CONNECT assists individuals who suddenly find themselves in the ATR ("Absent Teacher Reserve") pool and are the "new" rubber roomers, and re-assigned. The terms "rubber room" and "ATR" mean that you or any person has been targeted for removal from your job. A "Rubber Room" is not a place, but a process.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts Charlie Albanetti, 518.595.9047 Wendy Liberatore, 518.491.0454 ALBANY (Dec. 3, 2014) — The same hedge funds that bought control of Governor Cuomo and State Senate Republicans now want to take over public education, but we’re not going to let it happen.
That was the message today from Zephyr Teachout, the Working Families Party, the Alliance for Quality Education, Citizen Action of New York and a broad coalition of concerned parents. Ahead of a possible special legislative session in Albany next week, they gathered at the Capitol to launch a new campaign to fight the growing efforts of hedge funds to run New York’s schools and dictate education policy.
At a press conference at the state Capitol, they released a new report, “Corruption in Education: The Hedge Fund Takeover of New York’s Schools.”
“New York State is plagued by legal corruption: campaign contributions and outside spending explicitly designed to buy policy outcomes. In 2014, a tiny group of powerful hedge fund executives, representing the most extreme version of this corruption spent historic amounts of money in order to take over education policy,” Teachout writes in the report, which follows on the heels of her recent article in The Daily Beast.
The research and analysis in the report show that hedge fund managers who bankrolled Cuomo’s re-election and the Senate Republicans are the main drivers of an education agenda in Albany designed to starve public schools of resources and raise the cap on privately-run charter schools.
“It’s just wrong for a handful of billionaires to buy our elections and corrupt our education system,” said Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York and Co-Chair of the Working Families Party. “We’re proud to begin this effort to protect our kids’ education from this school privatization scheme.”
“These hedge fund billionaires are the new puppeteers of Albany and they are pulling the strings of Gov. Cuomo and the Republican Majority in the Senate,” said Billy Easton, Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education. “The Governor has leveled inflammatory attacks on public schools which is music to the ears of his billionaire campaign investors who are pushing an agenda of privatization and high stakes testing. We need the Governor to focus his concerns on investing in our public school students, not on diverting money away from public schools to fund privately run charter schools that are the pet projects of his billionaire donors.”
“It’s disheartening to think that the Governor wants to hand over my child’s education to hedge fund managers,” said Jamaica Miles, a Schenectady parent and member of Citizen Action of New York. “This corruption of our public education has to stop. I am just one of many parents who are outraged at how money has swayed our politicians to destroy public education, which is so important to the future of our community.”
In the coming days, the campaign 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.
The report, “Corruption in Education: The Hedge Fund Takeover of New York’s Schools,” is available here: http://bit.ly/1tAyQfw