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Families for Excellent Schools to disband

New York Teacher

The pro-charter group Families for Excellent Schools announced Feb. 5 that it will cease operations after its founder and CEO, Jeremiah Kittredge, was terminated for “inappropriate behavior.” [See Follow the money.] The group’s dissolution removes an aggressive force for charter school expansion in New York City and denies Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy a key ally.

The organization was once one of the most prominent backers of school privatization efforts in New York and frequently made headlines with lavishly funded pro-charter school rallies and protests against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s education policies.

Kittredge’s firing was only the latest difficulty for Families for Excellent Schools. The group’s fundraising had been in decline since 2016, when it spent more than $15 million on a pro-charter ballot initiative in Massachusetts, only to lose the vote.

The Massachusetts campaign finance board found the groups had violated the state’s campaign finance law and fined it $426,466. In a final blow, the group was forced to disclose its donors.

Politico, Feb. 5
Chalkbeat, Feb. 5