Kirsten Gillibrand

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Kirsten Gillibrand is the junior Senator from the State of New York. She cast the only vote by a Democrat against John King for Secretary of Education. King is an advocate of charters, high-stakes tests and evaluating teachers by test scores. During a CNN Town Hall when asked about charter schools, she did not see them as “the solution” and went on to talk about ways in which to strengthen our public schools, which included lower class size and support services. She has given the best response to the charter question that we have heard up to this point.

2010 and 2018

Direct Campaign Contributions  

Gillibrand for Senate received contributions from several prominent New York education reform donors, including John Petry, Joel Greenblatt, Whitney Tilson, Margaret Loeb and Anne Dinning. Gillibrand also received a contribution from California reform donor Sheryl Sandberg and Washington State billionaire Melinda Gates. Donald Trump contributed to her 2010 campaign.


PACs making independent expenditures on behalf of Kirsten Gillibrand did not receive significant contributions from prominent education reformers.


During a CNN Town Hall Gillibrand was asked if she supports charter schools like Success Academy and if she would expand funding for charters. Gillibrand responded by expressing support for more effective policies like smaller class sizes, support services and enriched curriculum for all students. (39:20 time stamp)


Gillibrand voted against the Washington D.C. federal voucher program.


Gillibrand voted in favor of an amendment to the Every Student Succeeds Act that continued test and punish strategies in the ESEA reauthorization.

In an email response to constituents concerned about her vote, she wrote, “I will work with my colleagues in the Senate to reign in high-stakes testing while maintaining important measures of educational equity.”


Gillibrand voted against the confirmation of John King for Secretary of Education, stating that his tenure as Commissioner of Education in her home state of New York “was very adversarial, leaving families, students and teachers without a voice on important issues and therefore I cannot support his nomination.”

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