Ronald S. Lauder, the billionaire cosmetics heir, and Richard D. Parsons, the former chairman of Citigroup, have for decades had their hands in New York City affairs. Mr. Lauder ran a failed bid for mayor and successfully led a campaign for term limits for local elected officials. Mr. Parsons has been a prominent adviser to two mayors.
Now, they are teaming up to try to influence one of the city’s most intractable and divisive debates: how to address the lack of black and Hispanic students at Stuyvesant High School, Bronx High School of Science and the other elite public high schools that use a test to determine admission.
Stanley Ng, one of the founders of the “Scholastic Merit Fund,” said Thursday it had raised $25,000 this fall and hopes to raise $100,000 by January to protect the 1971 law that mandates the admissions test for at least three of the eight specialized high schools.
The fund hired lobbying firm Parkside Group, LLC for $60,000 from Oct. 2 through Sept. 30, 2019, plus certain expenses, according to a filing with the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics.