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School Cuts On The Way, Parents & Council say No Way!

April 8, 2011
by Carlton Curry
Parents, City Council members as well as teacher, administrative and labor unions spoke up today against looming education cuts. This testimony below was presented today Friday, April 8th by Carlton Curry before the NY City Council, at the “Preliminary Budget Hearing on Education- Expense”

Carlton Curry is a resident of the Highbridge section of the Bronx. He has a child in PS 126 and is a a member of United Parents of Highbridge, President of President’s Council, First Chairperson of C-PAC (all in District 9) and the Coalition for Educational Justice.

I was in Albany on March 30th with hundreds of other parents when Governor Cuomo’s budget cut a half a billion dollars in funding for New York City schools and left out important measures such as extending the millionaire’s tax. This heartless decision hurts our children, hurts our schools & hurts our communities. The city cannot stack more devastating cuts on top of this and we make a plea on behalf of our school children and parents that in your budget negotiations you make no more cuts to education.
We simply do not believe that the budget should be balanced on the backs of our children and schools. So, how do we not pile on more devastating cuts?—We suggest calling on the legislature and governor to extend the millionaire’s tax. It doesn’t expire until December, they can open it up again before then and do the right thing this time; you can use the city’s surplus- the “rainy day fund.”  It is not only raining on our schools—there is a downpour of destructive outcomes:

 74% of high school graduates are taking remedial courses when they enter CUNY;

 23% of NYC students are ready for college according to the state, meaning they got at least an 80 on the math and 75 on English Regents. Only 13% of Black and 13% of Latino students are ready for college;

 Most of the 126 schools where 75% of more of their students are below standard in ELA and 25% or more of their students are at level 1 are concentrated in seven school districts (4,5,6,7,9,10 & 12)—four of which are in the Bronx, and three in upper Manhattan;

 Last year, District 9 lost $12.8 million in cuts.

The mayor should be proposing dramatic cost-cutting measures that do not impact the classroom. CEJ has some ideas for cost savings at the DoE. One proposal is to reduce excessive spending on testing, which would save millions. They can also save tens of millions by reducing corporate contracts for professional training and coaching which can be done by expert teachers within the system.

Proposed cuts to schools will make all this worse. My school, PS 126, is an example of so many schools in Black & Latino neighborhoods that have already sacrificed enough.  We have to cut down on services from our after-school program; there’s a threat to lay-off nine teachers; our classrooms are overcrowded; computer classes for parents have been eliminated.

To save my child and all our children, we need quality education, high quality curriculum and community supports. We need to fix schools, not just close them!

After a defeating battle on the state level, NYC must do what is right for our children. It’s unacceptable to take millions from our children’s classrooms to finance the playrooms of millionaires. Mayor Bloomberg- should stop playing politics with our children. His self-serving, scare tactic TV ads & threats of massive teacher lay-offs & cuts to classrooms don’t scare us, but they do impact our children’s education.  He has to stop finding someone else to blame for his disgraceful education record.

On behalf of parents of the Coalition for Educational Justice, who are on the frontlines in the battle for better schools for all children, we say loud & clear in so many words: there should be no reducing, no chopping, no removing, no slashing, no cuts to Education!

We all know that proposed cuts to education can be prevented, if we would have a mayor advocating for our children’s education, but he would rather advocate to protect millionaires. Mayor Bloomberg, you should be fighting against lay-offs & cuts to education. Stand with parents & let’s fight together to protect our children!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2011 8:49 pm

    And I thought I was the sensible one. Thanks for setting me stirhagt.

  2. andrea samaris mille permalink
    June 25, 2011 10:13 pm

    its disgusting these cuts are unfair and will effect many children

  3. andrea samaris mille permalink
    June 25, 2011 10:14 pm

    my son will not be able to retake aug. 2011 regent exam

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