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NYC’s Major Education Advocates React to Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget

May 6, 2011

         The City’s largest pro-public education organizations released the following statement in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget announcement this morning.

         Parent leaders from the Coalition for Educational Justice and advocates from the Alliance for Quality Education are available for comment at the media’s request.

This statement is supported by the Coalition for Educational Justice and the Alliance for Quality Education.

         “Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget would be nothing less than devastating to New York City’s schools.  In fact, it’s irresponsible.  To make cuts like these at a time when it is clear that the education system is in a state of crisis, when the City has multi-billion-dollar surplus reserves, and when there are other lucrative, untapped revenue sources available is simply wrong.

         “When we went to Albany calling on Gov. Cuomo to fund schools instead of cutting taxes on millionaires, Mayor Bloomberg did not join the effort.  If he had pushed Albany for reasonable revenue options, his school cuts could have been avoided.  We are calling on the Mayor now to support the $1.5 billion in revenue options that can be obtained by asking large banks and millionaires to do their part to help New York City thrive.”When New Yorkers voted for the Mayor for a third term, they did so because they believed his background as a corporate manager would bring prosperity back to our City.  In a sense, they were right to think so–but the new prosperity has only been for the wealthiest New Yorkers.  The rich have benefited while young people in our schools from low- and middle-income parents have suffered.  Now the Mayor wants to cut even more from the classrooms, and doom struggling schools and students to failure.  Enough.  We will work with our newly united allies in the City Council, labor and grassroots organizations to stop Mayor Bloomberg’s wrongheaded budget.”

Zakiyah Ansari, parent leader for the Coalition for Educational Justice, said:

         “Our children cannot take thousands of teachers being turned out of our schools and cuts in programs from college prep to remedial education.  Mayor Bloomberg did not stand up to Gov. Cuomo’s massive cuts, and his budget today does not prioritize our school children. The mayor needs to make banks and millionaires do their part so our students do not have to pay this painful price.”

Billy Easton, Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education, said:

         “The mayor is right that under Gov. Cuomo the state has abandoned its obligations to our school children, but the mayor did not go to Albany to fight for school aid, he has never aggressively pursued the CFE funding and he opposed the millionaire’s tax, which was the most logical revenue source to prevent these cuts.  Instead of pointing fingers we need the Mayor to step to the plate and provide some leadership on generating state and city revenues to protect our school children.”

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