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The Wall Street-backed charter lobby spent more last year than unions and won’t he support of Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to expand and get Néw York City to offer free space or pay the rent for charters.
“Charter school groups and their supporters spent $16 million on lobbying, campaign contributions to state-level candidates and parties and independent expenditure campaigns last year. Charter schools spent nearly $700,000 on lobbying. Education unions and labor-funded advocates spent $11.77 million, according to the analysis.
“Additionally, large school districts and stakeholder groups representing school boards spent $922,193. An advocacy group pushing a generous tax credit that would incentivize donations to schools spent $659,404.
“In defending their spending and high-profile backers, education reform leaders have often portrayed teachers’ unions as deep-pocketed behemoths representing special interests. But the spending reality is that in 2014, the pro-charter and reform groups outspent unions by a considerable margin….
“What’s striking in these numbers is that a few dozen Wall Street financiers and billionaire hedge fund managers are able to far outspend more than 600,000 educators who believe in the promise of public education and voluntarily give a few bucks out of each paycheck to ensure they have a voice,” said Carl Korn, NYSUT’s spokesman.”