Date: Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Sam Coleman: 646-354-9362, Teacher PS 24, NYCORE/GEM
Parents, Students, and Teachers Rally to Demand Mayor Bloomberg Prioritize Public Education Spending and Withdraw Proposed School-Based Budget Cuts and Teacher Layoffs
When: Friday, June 4th, Morning Pickets and Day-Long Actions (times and events vary by school community)
Friday, June 4th, 4:30 PM @ TWEED
Where: School Communities @ PS 24K, PS 15K, PS 30M, PS 197M, Jamaica High School, PS 123M, PS 193K, PS 41M, PS 84K, The Brooklyn New School, Prospect Heights International High School, PS 202K, PS 3K, PS 307K, IS 218, PS 89K, PS 321, The Earth School, Banana Kelley, Fredrick Douglass Academy 5, Benjamin Banneker High School, East Flatbush Community Research School, Humanities Prep and many other school communities city-wide.
On Friday, June 4th, Parents, Students, and Teachers will participate in a city-wide day of protest to demand Mayor Bloomberg prioritize public school spending and withdraw his intention to further slash school-based budgets as well as his initial plan to fire over 6,000 teachers. These cuts and proposed layoffs, will siphon approximately 400 million dollars from New York City public school children, this as the IBO projects a city-wide budget surplus in 2010 and 2011 and other government agencies under the Mayor’s control are projected to face no cuts at all. In addition, the education system in New York City has already experienced drastic cuts: approximately $546 million since June 2009’s adopted budget, according to the Independent Budget Office. Of this, $261 million came out of classroom funding. These further cuts will increase class size, increase teacher student ratios, services and programs will be cut including after school, remediation, and enrichment; the entire public school system will be destabilized and weakened. As for the layoffs, the Mayor rescinded the proposal this week, and it must be clear we stand united in saying not now, not ever.
This grassroots day of actions grew out from a community public school in Sunset Park, Brooklyn where parents and teachers have been organizing around disastrous public education policies including the issue of testing. Sam Coleman, one of the lead organizers of the event, a teacher from PS 24 said, “The staff at PS 24 decided we could not sit idly by while our students’ education and our livelihoods were being threatened. We realized the only voice that will ever be heard is that of the whole school community; parents, students, and staff. We want to show the public and politicians that we are willing to take action in order to force a change in political priorities. The whole PS 24 community demands fully and equitably funded public education for all New York City children.”
Various school communities across the city will be taking differentiated actions in a unified protest of the Mayor’s education spending priorities. Individual schools will be holding pickets, signing petitions, and form letters, and will disseminate educational materials to spread awareness about the destructive educational policies and decision-making of Mayor Bloomberg and his Chancellor, Joel Klein. The day will end with a group protest at Tweed, where concerned citizens will join in solidarity and make their voices heard after taking community-based actions throughout the day.
Lydia Bellahcene: firstname.lastname@example.org, 347-463-9809, Parent PS 15, CAPE
Mark Torres: email@example.com, 212-348-5732, Co-Chair, CPE/CEP
Julie Cavanagh: firstname.lastname@example.org, 917-836-6465, Teacher PS 15, CAPE/GEM