Elite NYC Private Schools Under Scrutiny Over CCP Ownership
Elite private schools in New York City have come under scrutiny due to their ownership by a company led by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Basis Independent Schools, with two campuses in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn, charges up to $44,500 a year and prides itself on sending graduates to prestigious colleges. These schools were sold to Spring Education Group, controlled by Primavera Capital Group in Hong Kong, in 2019.
The chairman and CEO of Primavera Capital Group, Fred Zuliu Hu, is reported to be a senior member of the CCP. Although Hu and Spring Education dispute these claims, Florida’s Department of Education suspended public scholarships to Spring Education-owned schools in the state, accusing them of ties to the CCP that posed a threat to students’ welfare.
The connection between Primavera Capital and Basis schools was brought to public attention in late September, prompting concerns among parents. While the schools disclose that they are owned by Spring Education Group, controlled by Primavera, they do not acknowledge the Communist Party link. Critics argue that this ownership raises questions about transparency and influence on education.
The private schools stress that there is nothing clandestine about their operations and that Primavera does not set the curriculum. They emphasize that the schools are carefully vetted by the federal government. However, concerns remain about the potential influence of the Communist Party on American education.
Fred Hu, the CEO of Primavera Capital Group, is a Harvard graduate and CCP member who has advised the Chinese government. He also was an executive at Goldman Sachs, has been an adviser to Harvard and Columbia University, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ global advisory board. The fact that Mandarin is part of the curriculum at Basis schools has raised further questions about foreign influence in American education.
It’s essential to maintain vigilance regarding foreign influence in American institutions, especially when it comes to educating young minds. The ties between private schools and individuals or entities with foreign political affiliations, like the CCP, raise concerns about the potential impact on education, curriculum choices, and even academic freedom.