The same obscenely wealthy people that bankrolled Andrew Cuomo's odd re-election campaign are the exact same people who dumped somewhere around $15 million into state Senate races on the GOP side. And though Cuomo won his re-election with fewer votes than any candidate for governor since FDR, his backers will still be looking to realize a handsome return on their investment. And these are the kind of people that always collect on their debts.
What does this mean for your typical New Yorker? Well, it means that if you live in NYC your rent is almost certainly going to go up more than it would when rent control laws expire next year. And if live anywhere in Greater New York State, you're about to see a shit-ton of new charter schools.
Now these same Wall Street hedge fund titans are pushing their radical agenda for our public schools. These are not the one percent, they are the one percent of the one percent.
Their agenda starts with paying for cuts in their taxes by putting public schools on a starvation diet. Due to Cuomo's tight-fisted budgets, many grade schoolers have no art or music, many middle schoolers have lost sports, and many high schoolers have seen the curriculum offerings they need to get into college vanish. Someone had to sacrifice to pay for tax cuts for Wall Street and our kids can't fight back.
Get ready for loads more high stakes testing. And get ready for much more public education money leaving our public schools for "disruptive" new charter schools from Montauk to Watertown.
But now they are ready to push the crown jewel of their agenda: privatization. One week before the election, Cuomo called our public schools a "monopoly" and said he planned to "break" them up. This is inflammatory rhetoric, but it was music to the ears of the same Wall Streeters who have pumped money into both Cuomo and privately run charter schools.
The big plan is to push now for more privatization of our public schools by converting them to charters. Charter schools are privately operated without accountability to the public. They have fought hard court to avoid telling us how they spend our money. When charter schools have students who are struggling on tests or with their behavior, they can counsel them out or expel them. Our public schools can't do this; they have to serve every child, even the ones rejected by privately run charters. And privately run charters offer great opportunities for making a profit, as one major charter financier, former Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, made clear recently when he said, "I'd be a frigging idiot not to."
The billionaire hedge fund vultures bought their governor fair and square and gave him exactly the state Senate that he wanted are now they are here to collect the debt.
And no matter what Assembly Leader Shelly Silver may say publicly about charters, they're gonna get what they paid for.
(image via NYDN)