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Education advocacy group, AQE, names new executive director

Education advocacy group, AQE, names new executive director

Albany-based Alliance for Quality Education names Jasmine Gripper as its new leader
Education advocacy group, AQE, names new executive director
Jasmine Gripper speaks at a rally for increased school funding in Schenectady.
Photographer: Marc Schultz/Gazette File Photo

ALBANY -- The Albany-based Alliance for Quality Education, a statewide organization that advocates for increased state school funding, named Jasmine Gripper as the organization's new executive director.

Gripper, who previously served as the group's legislative director, is set to take charge of the group in January, replacing Billy Easton, who led the organization since 2005.

The group has advocated on behalf of families and students for nearly 20 years, lobbying lawmakers, visiting schools across the state and working in communities to highlight funding disparities, limited programming and other shortcomings in the state's education system.

The organization in the past has worked closely with Schenectady school Superintendent Larry Spring, who has opened district schools to AQE fact-finding missions and for press events aimed at promoting increased funding to low-income districts that serve large populations of minority students.

Gripper started her career as a classroom teacher, beginning as a teacher internationally before returning to New York to teach in Brooklyn. But she eventually turned to organizing and activism after she realized that education policy is often forged by people with little or no classroom experience. She has worked at AQE since 2013. 

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