by Elizabeth K. Jeffers
Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, funnels the majority of his campaign contributions through political action committees. It is also central to consider the Bloomberg family influence, as well as his former appointees’ influence on school reform in New Orleans and across the nation.
Emma Bloomberg, Michael’s daughter, is the chairperson of Stand for Children’s board. She also serves on the board for Leadership for Education Equity, an organization that provides networks for Teach for America alumni to enter policy making, such as state Superintendent John White, BESE member Kira Orange-Jones and OPSB member Sarah Usdin. Emma sits on the Stand for Children and KIPP Foundation boards with Katherine Bradley, who donated to Orange-Jones and Usdin’s campaigns. Emma Bloomberg sits on boards with venture capitalists Arthur Rock; Reed Hastings, the founder of Netflix; and Carrie Walton Penner, the daughter of Sam Walton of Walmart. Arthur Rock and Reed Hastings donated to Orange-Jones and Usdin’s campaigns.
As Mercedes Schneider discussed in A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education (2014), Joel Klein was Bloomberg’s appointed chancellor of the New York City Department of Education from 2002 to 2011. During that time, Klein asked John White, who had been serving as executive director of Teach For America—Chicago, to become his deputy chancellor of Talent, Labor and Innovation. Further, during Klein’s leadership, Joshua Densen, the CEO of Bricolage Academy, served as a special assistant to the regional superintendent.
Joel Klein donated to Sarah Usdin’s campaign, and he now sits on the Teach for America national board.