Anti-Charter Advocates Slam Hakeem Jeffries–Update

Following up on an article in Gotham Schools that details how Assemblyman–and likely Congressional candidates Hakeem Jeffries–is lapping up support of charter school proponents, an anti-charter advocate is sending around an email this morning accusing him of selling out for some those charter school fundraising dollars.

“Jeffries MUST NOT be elected,” writes Mona David of the NYC Parents Union ” Our children’s education and futures, our schools and YOUR jobs are at stake!  Jeffries is NOT going to Congress!”

Mr. Jeffries ability to straddle the public school/charter school divide is unsurprising to those who have watched him closely through the years. As Reid Pillifant wrote for Capital New York, Mr. Jeffries “has become many things to many people,” including those who support Brooklyn Democratic leader Vito Lopez and reformers who want new leadership.

Likewise, Mr. Jeffries led the charge to deny Cathie Black a waiver to become schools chief, but has also co-sponsored a bill to raise the charter school cap.

According to Ms. David, this was done so that he could tap into the network of funders who help bankroll charter schools, especially the group Democrats for Education Reform.

Writes Ms. David:

Now, Jeffries, the only elected to attend this charter town hall meeting yesterday is ramping up his sellout campaign to the privatizing, union busting charter lobby. Apparently, this is nothing new for Jeffries, he flip-flopped/sold out on Atlantic Yards too.

Jeffries knows the truth about charters not serving ALL children, charters do NOT outperform district schools, many refusing to establish PA/PTA’s, pushing out students with special needs, high teacher turnover, high student attrition, incompetent boards, financial mismanagement AND board malfeasance. He knows all this but instead of holding charters accountable, he’s selling our children and teachers out for charter money.

The Parents Union doesn’t have DFER money, we need your support at our fundraiser so we can fight sell outs like Jeffries who puts his career before out our children, working people and the 99%.


Lupe Todd, a Jeffries spokeswoman, sent over a statement slamming Ms. David as a hypocrite, and noting that Mr. Jeffries has a long history on this issue.

Assemblyman Jeffries calls it like he sees it on every issue. He co-sponsored the charter cap bill more than a year before formally establishing a congressional campaign committee and, as the parent of children who attend a traditional public school in Brooklyn, last year he was lead plaintiff in Jeffries v. Steiner. Mona David is an unadulterated hypocrite who sends her child to a charter school, but seeks to deny other black and Latino parents from some of the poorest neighborhoods in Brooklyn the same choice. In 2006 we prevailed against the same type of shrill crowd in a Democratic Primary by 40 percentage points. If this is the opposition, we’re confident that history will repeat itself.

Anti-Charter Advocates Slam Hakeem Jeffries–Update