But, there are well-funded anti-public school forces that are trying to weaken our schools and break our union apart.

What They Want

  • To disrupt and defund public education
  • To vilify and weaken the teachers union
  • To destroy the power of labor unions and workers
  • To consolidate their power so they can make more money

How They're Trying To Do It

  • Actively pushing to defund public schools and promote unaccountable charter schools
  • Bringing the culture wars to our schools
  • Promoting misinformation and conspiracy theories designed to fracture our society and disrupt our kids' learning

Who are these bad actors?


The Freedom Foundation

The incredibly cynical Freedom Foundation touts their desire to fight for what they laughably call "worker rights." Dig in just a little and discover what they mean: less pay, reduced or eliminated benefits, and the freedom for your employer to not worry about your working conditions or safety.

Not surprisingly, going after unions is key to their efforts to strip workers of hard-earned pay and benefits. Why? The same reason bosses have been undermining worker power for generations: So they make more money. That's an interesting definition of worker freedom.

  Walton Family Foundation -- $3,275,000
  Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation -- $1,000,000
  Mercer Family Foundation -- $500,000
  Charles Koch Charitable Foundation -- $25,000

New Choice New York

These lovely folks wake up every morning wanting to crush unions. Behind the veneer of "choice" and "freedom" is a stone-cold anti-labor operation hell-bent on making sure your paycheck is lighter and you have less voice in the workplace.

If you find yourself annoyed by things like quality health care, a secure retirement, and a middle-class lifestyle, maybe check New Choice out.

  The Mackinac Center/Donor's Capital Fund -- $4,962,550
  The DeVos Family -- $1,410,000

New Yorkers for a
Balanced Albany

The political action committee of the pro-charter group StudentsFirstNY, New Yorkers for a Balanced Albany is funded by hedge-fund managers and the Walton family. It has spent millions nationwide to promote unaccountable charter schools.

If they really wanted "balance," they would join us in fighting for schooling equity for all students and solid wages for all workers. But they want only to tip the scales in favor of their ultra-rich donors.

  Jim C. Walton -- Chairman and CEO of Arvest Bank Group, Inc. -- $1 million
  Alice Walton, daughter of Wal-Mart pioneer Sam Walton, $1,035,000
  Daniel S. Loeb, CEO of Third Point LLC -- $5,025,000

Reclaim New York

With their pockets stuffed full of money from the billionaire Mercer family, Reclaim New York is on a crusade to overturn school boards and replace qualified members with their hand-picked bomb-throwers. These culture warriors could care less about quality education or well-staffed schools. Making sure schools run well is boring to them. 

  The Mercer Family Foundation – Billionaire Robert Mercer's private grant-making organization -- $1,600,000

The Goldwater Institute

Educators already lead hectic lives but the Goldwater Institute wants to make every workday a little worse for you. The group is promoting so-called “transparency bills” in 17 states that would require teachers to post online every single piece of instructional material used in the classroom over the course of a year. That includes books, articles, handouts and videos. The goal is to give parents who distrust their children’s schools fodder to stage protests, opt their children out and cut what they see as “offensive lessons,” which can really be anything at all they find objectionable.  

  Donors Capital Fund -- DonorsTrust affiliate for $1 million+ anonymous donors -- $665,462
  Mercer Family Foundation -- Billionaire Robert Mercer's private grant-making foundation -- $500, 000


No Shady Billionaire Donors

VOTE-COPE contributions come exclusively from NYSUT members across the state.

No Hidden Agenda

We are educators who are supporting pro-education, pro-worker, pro-student policies in our state.

No Dues Dollars Used

VOTE-COPE is made up of 100% voluntary contributions. No NYSUT dues go to fund VOTE-COPE.

Now, Follow Our  Money



The average annual member contribution to VOTE-COPE


194,000 +

NYSUT members actively contribute to VOTE-COPE every year

"Out of the public school grows the greatness of a nation."

~ Mark Twain

NYSUT Endorses Tom DiNapoli

VOTE-COPE is the statewide union’s voluntary, non-partisan advocacy fund. NYSUT member contributions help us advocate for our members' rights and for strong, safe public schools across the state. No member dues dollars are used to support political candidates.

VOTE-COPE is NYSUT’s Political Action Committee. VOTE-COPE funds are used in federal, state and local elections. Contributing to VOTE-COPE is voluntary, and NYSUT members and their immediate family members may refuse to contribute to VOTE-COPE without reprisal. Contributing to VOTE-COPE is not a condition of membership in any labor organization. Contributions to VOTE-COPE will be screened, and any unauthorized contributions will be returned. Contributions to VOTE-COPE are not deductible as charitable
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