What are you going to lose, New York, if you let Governor Cuomo have his way with the Public Schools, and who will gain?

01 Nov

What’s interesting about Cuomo’s use of the word monopoly, when he recently described the public schools in New York State, is that it will be the for-profit, corporate Charter schools he supports that will become the real monopoly when there are no public schools left to compete with.

In fact, Cuomo may help elevate a corporate Charter school CEO in New York City to be one of the top-ten highest paid CEO’s in the United States.

A monopoly, by definition, is an industry that controls everything about the products it produces and sells—there is no competition. In comparison, there are 697 public school districts in New York State and each one is run by a democratically elected school board that answers to the public, and public school districts must be transparent about everything that that they do or else.

How about the corporate Charters that Governor Cuomo has been paid to love?

According to, “As of the 2014-15 school year, New York has 248 operating charter schools serving approximately 92,132 students.”

And here’s a list of the Charter schools in New York State. If you look at the list carefully, you will discover that several of these Charter schools belong to growth corporations. For instance: Achievement First (9); Icahn (7); KIPP (6); New Visions (8), and Success Academy (24).

These Charters are private-sector corporations managed by CEO’s, regardless of the title they give themselves. Most, if not all of these CEO’s, pay themselves very well from the taxes that flow their way, and they run organizations that are all but opaque—meaning, it is difficult to discover what they are actually doing with the tax payers money they get, and the truth about student outcomes is often distorted and misleading—and they don’t have to answer to the voters or the public about anything they do.

If you want a perfect example of how one of these corporate, profit-driven CEO’s operates, look no further than Eva Moskowitz (a former media celebrity and  non-educator), who pays herself more than a half-million dollars annually (more than the President of the United States who represents 316 million Americans, and the Chancellor of New York City’s public schools that teache1.1-million students), and Moskowitz uses hundreds of thousands of tax dollars that once went to teaching children in the public schools to run a well-oiled PR campaign to recruit more students and shut down more public schools, while the public schools are, by law, not allowed to use tax money for the same purpose.

Moskowitz runs the corporate, for profit Success Academy Charters, and her site says that private-sector corporation now operates 32 schools serving 9,000 students.

And Moskowtiz pays herself more than $500-thousand annually to serve 9,000 students while the Chancellor of New York City’s public schools annual salary is $212,614.

If we break that down by student, Moskowitz pays herself almost $56 for each student she recruits/serves.  I find it interesting that she uses the word “serves” instead of “teaches”, don’t you?  Who is she going to serve these children to—the vultures on Wall Street, who profit off her Charters?

What does it cost the tax payers to pay the salary of the Chancellor of the New York City public schools?

The answer: $5.17 a student, while Moskowitz payers herself more than 1,083-percent more per student.

How much will Moskowtiz earn if her so-called Success Academies (which are actually failures when you strip away the lies and look at the real numbers that she does all she can to hide) taught all of New York City’s children?

Moskowitz’s salary, with help from Governor Cuomo, who wants to fire public school teachers and close public schools, could eventually swell to more than $61-million annually.

When that day comes, if Cuomo has his way, Moskowitz will join the ranks of the 100 Highest Paid CEOs in the United States. In fact, she will rank #8 on that list and the tax payers of New York City will be paying the bill for her salary while the education of their children will be drastically curtailed and shortchanged, and the tax payers won’t be able to do anything about it, because there will be no democratically elected public school boards and no transparent public schools left.

  • To learn more about Eva Moskowitz and her relentless and ruthless goal to take over teaching all 1.1 million children in New York City, I suggest you read what Mercedes Schneider has to say on her Blog.


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).


His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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2 responses to “What are you going to lose, New York, if you let Governor Cuomo have his way with the Public Schools, and who will gain?

  1. mets2006

    November 1, 2014 at 10:03


    Charter schools in NYS can only be run by not-for-profits, and the vast majority struggle financially, Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy Schools raise substantial private dollars, two teachers in a class, lower class sizes, highly structured and popular with parents, long waiting lists, New Visions works with 75 public schools and 8 charter schools.

    NYS does have caps on the number of charter schools, the NYC cap is exhausted, the rest of the state is far below the cap … in the January legislative session the legislature can: do nothing, eliminate the caps, increase the cap or transfer unused slots from the state to the city.

    The NYC Comptroller, Scott Stringer, has just announced an audit of a number of charter schools including the Success Schools.

    Charter schools are popular, especially among parents of color in poorer communities, charter schools will fade in popularity when parents choose public schools.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      November 1, 2014 at 10:44

      That not-for-profit status is misleading when we look deeper at fraudulent tactics that squeeze more money from the tax payers through free rent in public school space, or rent paid to a for-profit parent company that supports the growth of Charters through those substantial private dollars when the Charter schools rent property the for-profit owns and pays exorbitant rents above the norm for the area.

      For instance, Eva’s $500K+ annual salary is another way to get around the so called not-for-profit status in addition to the hundreds of thousands her Success Academies spend on public relations to mislead the public.

      Another tactic used, hopefully not in New York—yet—is to fire all the public school custodians and then farm out the maintenance and cleaning to a for profit company that offers substandard service for top dollars.

      The non-profit status is misleading when these tricks are allowed to go on. Hopefully, that audit of the Success Schools will turn up some of that fraud and hopefully there will be a law that makes it illegal.


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