Several education advocacy groups convened a press conference this morning in New York City to demand that Eva Moskowitz return the $8.5 million recently contributed to her charter schools by hedge fund billionaire John Paulson. Hedge funds have bought up much of Puerto Rico’s debt, speculating that it is a great investment, but their “investment” will bankrupt Puerto Rico. Since many of Success Academy students are of Puerto Rican heritage, it doesn’t seem decent to take money that is tied to damaging the economy of Puerto Rico and impoverishing its people.

This is the press release:

Success Academy Pressured to Return $8.5 Million Hedge Fund (Dirty Money) Donation
The charter school chain in New York City should not accept any money tied to the suffering of Puerto Rican children and families, many of whom already live in poverty

WHAT: Advocates will call on Eva Moskowitz and Success Academy to return an $8.5 million donation of “tainted money” from controversial hedge fund manager John Paulson. In Puerto Rico, where many New Yorkers and Success Academy families have roots, Paulson is profiting from the debt crisis. He is linked to austerity measures that may lead to deeper cuts in school funding and wages for workers that will harm Puerto Ricans. Success Academy’s expansion should not benefit in any way from the suffering of Puerto Rican children and families.

Fifty-six percent of Puerto Rican children already live in poverty, and now hedge fund managers like Paulson want to threaten access to educational opportunity just to make bigger profits.

WHO: Education advocates, parents, community leaders, and concerned residents of New York. Leaders and members of the Hedge Clippers, Alliance for Quality Education, New York Communities for Change, Make the Road New York, Strong Economy for All, Citizen Action New York.

WHERE: Steps of City Hall, Lower Manhattan, NYC.

WHEN: Today, August 5, 10 a.m.

MORE BACKGROUND: Paulson has focused on transforming Puerto Rico into a low-tax, high-luxury playground for the wealthy. As a Bloomberg News headline put it, “Paulson’s Paradise Lures Rich Fleeing Taxes.” He has purchased $120 million of Puerto Rico’s debt. Like other hedge fund managers, he is looking to collect massive profits from his investments – even if it means drastic austerity measures like cuts to public education funding and wages that will destroy the lives of families and children. Paulson’s paradise is a nightmare for Puerto Ricans.