Last week, Joel Klein disclosed he would invoke “emergency powers” to enable
Steiner had held that Klein's actions violated state law, as Klein had refused to recognize that the autistic program was a school, any change to which required a public process occur beforehand, including informing the parents of the children who would be affected. Klein's actions in invoking emergency powers to displace a school for autistic children on behalf of a charter school has provoked much outrage from parents, elected officials, and special education advocates alike.
Mike Klonsky has pointed out that hedge fund maven Ravenel Boykin Curry IV, subject of a recent NY Times profile, is on the board of Public Prep, the charter management organization (CMO) that operates Girls Prep. But this only scratches the surface of this massively connected charter school.
Also on the board of Public Prep is Eric Grannis, husband of Eva Moskowitz, operator of the Harlem Success chain of charter schools, who has provoked her share of controversy by aggressively expanding within public school buildings, also with the aid and assistance of Joel Klein, to the extent of letting him know which public schools to close for her benefit. Grannis is a founding member of Girls Prep board and former counsel of the board:
Sarah Robertson is also on the Public Prep board and remains head of the Girls Prep board. Sarah is the wife of Spencer Robertson, the founder of PAVE charter school, installed by Klein in PS 15 in Red Hook,
Spencer Robertson, husband of Sarah, is the son of the hedge fund billionaire, Julian Robertson, who controls two influential and deep-pocketing foundations, the Tiger Foundation and the Robertson Foundation, both of which support Bloomberg's agenda to the tune of millions of dollars, through the Fund for Public Schools and other vehicles.
The Robertson Foundation is also among the largest contributors to Education Reform Now, the aggressive pro-charter school organization, and is one of the main funders of the NYC Charter Center, on whose board Joel Klein sits. The head of the board of the
Julian Robertson is in the news recently, not about his efforts on behalf of NYC charters, but because he took the Gates/Buffett billionaire’s pledge to give away most of his money to charity. Why that couldn’t include finding space for the charter schools run by his son and daughter-in-law, so that they wouldn’t have to push out autistic and other high-needs kids from critical space in their public schools is hard to figure out.
Perhaps contributing to his reluctance is the fact that these billionaire hedge fund privateers are intent on “leveraging” their private contributions as much as possible, as one of them, Whitney Tilson, pointed out in the NY Times article:
“It’s the most important cause in the nation, obviously, and with the state providing so much of the money, outside contributions are insanely well leveraged,” he said.
Julian Robertson is also a philanthropist who is awfully good at avoiding to pay NYC taxes, even to the extent of hiring a social secretary to keep track of how many days he should stay out of the city each year.