Times Union: “This fall, a small number of individuals spent an explosive amount of their private money to elect Republicans to the state Senate. Next week, in a special session in Albany, they plan to demand that the lawmakers they helped elect do their bidding and gut public education in New York state.
“It was amazing: $4.3 million in campaign cash, from just a dozen people across the short span of seven weeks.”
“But the first item on their list of demands is very clear: control over New York’s public schools — the laws that govern them and the $60 billion per year taxpayers invest in them.
“They want to eliminate all limits and oversight of privately managed charter schools.
“They want to take control of New York City schools away from Mayor Bill de Blasio and let privatization run rampant.
“And they want billions in new funding from taxpayers to build new charter schools everywhere across the state, taking even more resources away from hard-pressed public schools.
“There is big money to be made in charter schools, with tax breaks and the chance to be a supplier. There is big money to be made in union-busting, and one of the reasons they may be so pro-charter is that they are deeply anti-union. And there is big money to be made in the gradual dismantling of our great New York public education, as it leaves more money for tax breaks. Conflicts of interest, fraud, and corruption are huge risks in charter management. These hedge fund managers claim — and may well personally believe — that their reasons for investing in public policy are entirely philanthropic. But basic human psychology tells us that people are very bad at seeing when their own self-interest motivates behavior.”