Live the Questions

Words of Torah, funny anecdotes about my students, rants about education policy, and observations on politics, progressive Judaism, activism, and culture will all make appearances on this blog. Each post will end with a question for the reader; please respond if you feel moved.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

For New Yorkers: Rally for Great Public Schools

I will be at the Rally for Great Public Schools this Wednesday (June 7th) and I hope you will be, too! Here's why I'm going: After teaching in the NYC public schools for five years, I've learned that certain key factors make a HUGE difference in the quality of education we are able to deliver to our students. At the top of that list are smaller class sizes, more support for meaningful teacher professional development, materials and books that are up-to-date and engaging, and enrichment and remediation programs for students who need those services. Without support for these initiatives, we can't hope to serve NYC students better.

NYC has received money for new school construction from the state (see info below) but is still fighting for the $5.6 billion increase in the yearly operating budget for NYC's schools that Albany was ordered to provide by the NY supreme court. As citizens of NYC, we need to make sure that we support our youth and their development and fight for equitable funding for our city schools.

This rally is being sponsored by nearly all of the major school reform advocacy groups and should be a tremendous gathering. Please come if you can.

Wednesday, June 7th 6-8pm
Park Avenue between 50th and 51st streets

Here's the information from the sponsors of the rally:

We must come together to demand that Albany fully fund our schools NOW! We must DEMAND:

· smaller classes in all grades
· a quality teacher in every classroom
· fully equipped science labs in every middle & high school
· modern books & materials
· quality early childhood and after-school programs
· academic enrichment & remediation programs.

Rally for Great Public Schools!!
Wednesday, June 7th, 6 – 8 PM
St. Bart's Church
Park Avenue, between 50th & 51st Streets, Manhattan
6 to 51st St or E·V to Lexington Ave – 53rd St

All the letters, petitions, calls, and lobby days have paid off. This year, we won $1.8 billion from Albany for school construction this year, and an additional $9.4 billion in increased bonding for school construction over the next four years. This means that over 100 new schools will be built and over 65,000 new schools seats will be added over the next five years!! Too many of our kids have been crammed into overcrowded schools, and too many have suffered academically due to large class sizes. This is a great victory for our kids!

But much more needs to be done! Legislators have still failed to increase operating aid by $5.6 billion a year as ordered by the courts. Without this money, we can't hire more teachers to reduce class sizes, or provide full-day early childhood education. We can't buy new books, lab equipment, computers, and school supplies. And we can't invest in after-school, academic enrichment and remediation programs. Join with other parents, teachers, students, clergy, and others in demanding that Albany fully fund our schools NOW!

Rally for Great Public Schools sponsored by (alphabetical order): ACORN, Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), ANYCEC (Association of NYC Education Councils), Brooklyn Education Collaborative (BEC), Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE), Community Collaborative to Improve Bronx Schools (CCB), NAACP Metropolitan Council, Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition, United Federation of Teachers (UFT) (list in formation)

8 Comments:

  • At 1:10 AM, Blogger ahavatcafe said…

    I wish I could be there, but I'll be learning stats. Hope the rally helps! let me know what happens with followup.

     
  • At 11:09 PM, Blogger BZ said…

    Sorry I couldn't make it; I was doing my own part to create great public schools by grading a huge stack of tests. How did it go?

     
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