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John Paulson, a fabulously wealthy hedge fund manager, gave $8.5 million to Eva Moskowitz to expand her Néw York City-based chain of “no excuses” charter schools.
Last year, when Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to block the expansion of charter schools and to charge them rent for the use of public space–which he promised in the campaign–hedge fund managers gave millions to Governor Cuomo and spent several millions on a TV ad campaign attacking de Blasio. Eva brought thousands of her students and parents to Albany tolobby for her schools. The Governor and the legislature agreed that the city had to give free public space to charters or pay their rent in private space. In doing so, they ignored the law giving the mayor control of the schools.
“Success Academy, which was founded in 2006 by Eva S. Moskowitz, a former member of the City Council, is known for its high student test scores, as well as its sometimes polarizing methods. The network will have 34 schools as of this fall, but there appears to be enough demand for it to grow. This year it received more than 22,000 applications for fewer than 2,300 seats.
“Ms. Moskowitz has plans to grow to 70 schools within five or six years, and last year, she said she would like to have 100 schools within 10 years.”
Paulson sees Moskowitz’s chain as an antidote to poverty, but he seems unaware of her small proportions of the neediest students or the high attrition rate.
Rumors abound that she may run against de Blasio for Mayor in 2017.