Education Reform

Charter Lobby Backs Leading Candidates for NYC Mayor

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The executive director of StudentsFirstNY, Jenny Sedlis, has taken a leave of absence from her job to manage a fundraising PAC for Eric Adams, one of the leading candidates for mayor. The election is this November.

Sedlis previously was the lead spokesperson for Success Academy, Eva Moskowitz’s charter chain.

The new entity plans to run digital and TV ads supporting Adams’ candidacy, without being beholden to the strict spending limits imposed by the city’s Campaign Finance Board. Ahead of Sedlis establishing the PAC with the Board of Elections, StudentsFirstNY released a poll showing Adams closing the gap with frontrunner Andrew Yang. A poll published yesterday showed Adams in the lead.

Sedlis has not begun raising money yet, but the group is hoping to secure $6 million — matching the stated aim of political consultant Lis Smith in her fundraising effort for Andrew Yang, Adams’ chief rival in the race…

“New York City’s comeback starts with Eric Adams as mayor,” Sedlis said in a prepared statement. “He’ll make our streets safer, bring real police reform and get COVID under control so we can get the city back open for business.”

Though the promotions will not address charters, Adams has been an ally of the well-heeled movement to expand the schools.

“We need to identify those charter schools that are failing and those are the schools we need to replace with the schools who are doing a good job. The goal is to scale up excellence,” Adams said following an endorsement on Monday. “We have too many charter schools and district schools that are not meeting the standards that are needed … to talk about caps and non-caps is just the wrong conversation. What we’re capping is excellence.”

Meanwhile, Adam’s chief rival is Andrew Yang, who gained attention because of his failed candidacy for president in 2020. Yang won the endorsement of major Orthodox Jewish groups by agreeing with them that their Yeshivas should not be required to meet state standards or to teach the courses in English, instead of Hebrew.

Yang is advised by venture capitalist Bradley Tusk, who previously worked for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and is an avid supporter of charter schools.

The outlook for public schools in New York City is not good.

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