Public school parents are mobilizing against anticipated education budget cuts which would cause teacher layoffs, overcrowding in classrooms, and otherwise adversely affect public schools.
The City Council, finished its budget hearings on Monday with an additional call for the Department of Education to cut back on consultants and private contractors, instead of cutting teachers. The Council and the mayor must come up with a final budget by July 1, the start of the next fiscal year. As part of his $65.7 billion budget proposal, the mayor proposes eliminating 6,100 teaching positions and cutting child care programs.
To protest these measures, parents and advocacy groups are hosting a series of actions over the next several days and weeks. Here's a rundown:
- Emergency Manhattan budget meeting sponsored by New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts: Students-Labor-Communities United: Thursday, June 9, 6-9 pm: YMCA/University Settlement, 273 Bowery (SE Corner of Houston St.)
- Family rally in Brooklyn sponsored by City Council members and many local schools: Friday, June 10. Parents and kids meet at 4 p.m. at Grand Army Plaza, then march along Prospect Park West to the bandshell for the opening concert of Celebrate Brooklyn. For more information, see Council member Brad Lander's website.
- On "Fight Back Friday" June 10, parents and staff at individual schools will hold rallies, sign postcards directed at City Council representatives, disseminate flyers and wear black to, “take our schools back." Representatives from some schools will visit Christine Quinn’s office located at 30th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues at 5 PM on Friday to deliver some of the more than 5,000 postcards collected at city-wide Fight Back Fridays over the last three weeks and will hold a press conference demanding the City Council reject any budget that includes further cuts to school-based budgets and teacher lay-offs. Contact: Lisa Donlan, President CEC1: 917-848-5873
- Emergency Brooklyn budget meeting sponsored by New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts: Students-Labor-Communities United on Saturday, June 11, Bedford Library, 496 Franklin Avenue.
- City Hall rally endorsed by several unions including DC 37 and the UFT, sponsored by the Beyond May 12 coalition for “Bloombergville”:Tuesday, June 14 at 4:30 at City Hall: Centre Street between Chambers and Spruce Streets.
Please share information about other budget protests and actions in comments below.