Charter school backer starts PAC to boost Eric Adams’ bid for mayor

A major charter school backer is launching a Super PAC to help elect Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams the next mayor of New York City.

Jenny Sedlis, the head of the pro-charter advocacy group Students First NY, said she plans to raise $6 million for the pro-Adams Strong Leadership NYC independent expenditure group.

The money will be used to buy TV and digital ads to shore up and expand Adams’ base among black and Hispanic voters in the June 22 Democratic primary, she said.

“I’m starting this PAC because Eric Adams has a clear path to City Hall and I want to help him get there,” Sedlis told The Post.

“Eric has been consistent that he supports schools that are working for kids. He wants to scale excellence and not be tied to ways of doing things just because it’s how they’ve done before.”

Politico first reported on the pro-Adams political action committee.

Last week, Sedlis’ Students First NY group released a poll that found 70 percent of registered city Democrats support lifting the state cap to open more charter schools.

New York City can’t open any more new charter schools because it has hit the cap and the Democratic-controlled state Legislature — both the Assembly and Senate — refused to raise the restrictions to allow for expansion.

Still, Adams stopped short of endorsing a lifting of the cap when questioned by The Post following an endorsement press conference with Queens Borough President Donovan Richards on Monday.

He said he would support transferring 20 unused licenses from failed or closed charter schools to new ones.

Mayoral candidate and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said he would support transferring 20 unused licenses from failed or closed charter schools to new ones.
Mayoral candidate and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said he would support transferring 20 unused licenses from failed or closed charter schools to new ones.
Paul Martinka

“We need to identify those charter schools that are failing and those are the schools we need to replace with the schools who are doing a good job. The goal is to scale up excellence,” Adams said.

“We have too many charter schools and district schools that are not meeting the standards that are needed … to talk about caps and non-caps is just the wrong conversation. What we’re capping is excellence.”

Sedlis is banking on Adams being more flexible and open to compromise on charter schools compared to current Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been stingy in providing space to the privately managed, publicly funded alternative schools in city buildings.

The teachers’ union opposes the expansion of charter schools, which are mostly non-union, as diverting resources from traditional public schools. Charter schools are exempt from union rules, typically have a longer school day and year and their students often outperform their counterparts in traditional public schools on the state’s English and math standardized exams.

Sources said Adams, who has supported charter schools, is trying to straddle a fine line by trying not to antagonize tends of thousands of educators work for the much larger New York City public school system. The United Federation of Teachers endorsed city Comptroller Scott Stringer for mayor, before a former campaign volunteer accused him of sexual misconduct. He has denied the claims.

Adams is facing competition for black votes from former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire and civil rights lawyer Maya Wiley, who served as de Blasio’s chief legal counsel.

Mayoral candidate and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said his “goal is to scale up excellence,” by replacing failed charter schools.
Mayoral candidate and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said his “goal is to scale up excellence,” by replacing failed charter schools.
Getty Images

Recent polling also reveals that many Latino and white votes in the Democratic primary are still up for grabs.

Entrepreneur and 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang has led in nearly every poll, followed by Adams. One recent survey showed Adams in the lead.

Sedlis noted that other candidates — including Yang and McGuire — have independently run outside groups aiding their campaigns. She said she wants to level the playing field for Adams.

Credit: NYPOST

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