With Fundraising Prowess, Kennedy Championed Education

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Before seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton, Caroline Kennedy headed fundraising efforts for the New York City public schools As WNYC's Beth Fertig reports, Kennedy made the schools more popular among private philanthropists.

REPORTER: Prior to Kennedy's involvement, the Fund for Public Schools typically raised and invested about $3 million a year. But Kennedy raked in tens of millions of dollars annually from corporations and individuals. She headed strategic partnerships from 2002 to 2004, earning a dollar a year, and stayed on as vice president of the Fund for Public Schools. Kennedy kept a low profile and rarely made public comments. But the fund's CEO, Stephanie Dua, says she worked extremely hard.

DUA: You know we'll leave a meeting and before I can even get back to my desk I have an email from Caroline where she's already done the three next steps that we decided on and I haven't even gotten back to my desk.

REPORTER: The $240 million she raised in total was linked to new initiatives in arts education, a library fund and a training academy for principals. But some government watchdogs have criticized the city for not requiring Kennedy and other board members of the Fund for Public Schools to file financial disclosure forms. The city argued that the state disclosure law didn't apply to non-profits connected to the department of education. For WNYC I'm Beth Fertig.


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