ALBANY—Governor Andrew Cuomo will headline an education retreat next month in Lake Placid hosted by hedge-fund managers who support the Common Core standards, charter schools, mayoral control of schools, testing and student-data collection.
Cuomo is the “honorary chairman” of Camp Philos, “a philosopher's camp on education reform” presented by Education Reform Now, a group that has donated $65,000 to Cuomo since 2010 through its political action committee. The group, led by hedge funders who are active in the charter-school movement, is hosting the conference at Whiteface Lodge on May 4 to 6.
The group's board members, as well as the founders of its PAC, Democrats for Education Reform, have also given to Cuomo individually.
John Petry, founder and manager at Sessa Capital, gave $20,000 in the last two years. He is a co-founder of DFER and a board member for ERN, and he's also co-chair of New York City's Success Academy Charter Schools, headed by Eva Moskowitz.
Joel Greenblatt, founder of Gotham Capital and co-chair of the Success Academy network, has served on DFER's advisory board. With his wife, Julia, Greenblatt gave Cuomo $60,000 since 2010.
Whitney Tilson, founder and managing partner of Kase Capital Management and co-founder of DFER, gave $12,000 since 2012.
Cuomo has led a recent push to boost charter schools, including negotiating changes in the state budget that particularly benefit Success Academy charters. Teachers' unions and public-school advocates have railed against Cuomo, arguing that he's prioritizing privately run charters over traditional public schools.
Have ready cash and Cuomo will do your bidding for you.
But given the problems Como has had over the Moreland mess this past week, the Camp Philos retreat may end up being a bigger embarrassment to Cuomo then do anything beneficial for him.
Quite literally, he is dangling on the string for these wealthy Wall Street donors whose bidding on education reform he just did in the budget deal.
Cuomo's corruption out front and obvious for everyone to see.