Working to give kids the education they deserve

StudentsFirstNY is New York's leading voice for students who depend on public education for the skills they need to succeed, but who are too often failed by a system that puts special interests, rather than the interests of children, first.

Recent Updates

StudentsFirstNY Response to Mayor de Blasio's State of the City Address

"After two years of offering students nothing but empty rhetoric, tonight Bill de Blasio didn’t even offer that much. For a mayor who wants permanent control of city schools, it seems odd that Mayor de Blasio did not offer one new education proposal. New York City schoolchildren deserve a mayor who believes their needs are worth focusing on. Mayor de Blasio needs to stop horsing around and focus on getting our kids the quality education they deserve," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.

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Budget Committee Testimony by Parent and StudentsFirstNY Organizer Asia Thomas

The following is testimony submitted by StudentsFirstNY Organizer Asia Thomas to the Joint Budget Hearing on Elementary & Secondary Education: 

Good afternoon, Chairwoman Young, Chairman Farrell, Education Committee Chairs Marcellino and Nolan. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Executive Budget proposal for state fiscal year (SFY) 2016-2017. I appreciate all the work that you and your colleagues do on behalf of New Yorkers.

I am submitting my testimony today because I want you to understand how the decisions you make in Albany impact real people in their everyday lives. The Governor has advanced sensible proposals in his Executive budget that would expand school choice for parents and students by guaranteeing that public charter schools in New York City have access to space and increased financial support. Some have come out to oppose the Governor’s proposals, but I will tell you that it is wrong to cheat public charter school kids out of the resources given to district school kids. All public schools deserve adequate space and equal funding. It’s time to stop treating charter schools inequitably.

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StudentsFirstNY Response to Mayor de Blasio's Budget Testimony Regarding Charter School Funding

This morning, Mayor de Blasio announced his opposition to Governor Cuomo's charter school funding proposal. StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis made the following statement in response to Mayor de Blasio's testimony:
"Governor Cuomo understands that all children are equal, and his budget proposal clearly demonstrates his commitment to fighting for all students. Mayor de Blasio, by contrast, doesn't seem to get that he has a responsibility to educate all kids. Mayor de Blasio shouldn't be advocating against charter students, most of whom come from the city's lowest income communities. It's time to start treating charter school students fairly," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.
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StudentsFirstNY Statement on United Federation of Teachers Charter Schools Announcement

"There is already a mechanism in place to hold charter schools accountable; Mike Mulgrew should know this better than anyone because his was closed. Mike Mulgrew calling for more accountability for charter schools is like the Pony Express demanding faster service from FedEx. Our children deserve more high quality school choices, not more political posturing from union bosses. For Mulgrew to say this is his top priority is a joke -- his top priority should be improving the district schools that he runs," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.

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Parents Tell New York State Leaders #AllKidsCan

On January 12, 2016, hundreds of parent advocates from StudentsFirstNY traveled to the State Capitol in Albany to call for better school options for their children.

Watch the video below, take look at some photos from the trip, and then join these parents at


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