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 Congratulates David Banks

“David Banks is the leader New York City needs to navigate the historic challenges facing our public schools and to reimagine how we educate our children. His lifelong commitment to improving educational outcomes for low-income students has transformed the lives of countless families and demonstrated his ability to bring best practices to scale. StudentsFirstNY congratulates David Banks on being named Chancellor and we pledge to work with him to help all New York City schoolchildren,” said StudentsFirstNY Chief Advocacy Officer Crystal McQueen-Taylor.


StudentsFirstNY is a grassroots education advocacy organization dedicated to improving public school options throughout New York State.


StudentsFirstNY Congratulates Eric Adams

“Congratulations to Mayor-elect Eric Adams on his resounding victory. We look forward to working with the new mayor to improve our city schools so that every child has a real chance at a quality education, no matter where they live, said StudentsFirstNY Chief Advocacy Officer Crystal McQueen-Taylor. As a product of New York City public schools, Eric Adams understands the many challenges that face families in low-income communities. After eight long years, we’ll finally have a mayor that understands the important role that charter schools play in expanding opportunities for children.”

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StudentsFirstNY Statement on Selection of Brian Benjamin as New York's Lieutenant Governor

"Congratulations to Brian Benjamin on being selected as the new Lieutenant Governor. Thank you Governor Hochul for choosing a son of Harlem who knows better than anyone the challenges facing families in low-income communities. We are confident that Governor Hochul and Lieutenant Governor Benjamin are committed to improving education for children across New York State, and we look forward to working with them both in the weeks and months ahead," said StudentsFirstNY Chief Advocacy Officer Crystal McQueen-Taylor.



StudentsFirstNY Statement on Governor Hochul

“Kathy Hochul makes history today, breaking the highest, hardest glass ceiling in the Empire State. We look forward to working closely with Governor Hochul in the months ahead to help students navigate this challenging time and to ensure that every child in New York State has access to a world-class education,” said StudentsFirstNY Chief Advocacy Officer Crystal McQueen-Taylor.


StudentsFirstNY Citywide Poll Shows Voters Overwhelmingly Support Charter Schools


A newly released StudentsFirstNY poll conducted by Benenson Strategy Group of more than 1,500 likely Democratic primary voters in New York City found an overwhelming majority support public charter schools. Among the key findings were:

  • Primary voters overwhelmingly (80%) say that charter schools are mostly good for their students (84% of Black voters and 81% of Latino voters say charters in NYC are mostly good for their students.)
  • After hearing an explanation of the current cap on charter schools, 70% of voters say that we should allow new charter schools to open if parents want them (73% of Black primary voters and 75% of Latino primary voters say new charter schools should be allowed to open if parents want them.)

"In a survey of likely democratic primary voters, 84% of Black voters have a positive view of charters and a significant majority want to see mayoral candidates embrace charters in their education vision,” said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis. “We look forward to a new era in partnership with a mayor who will put the students of New York first."

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