Dear Concerned School Community Member:
Closing schools has turned into an epidemic across the United States. In NYC, school after school has been closed. It is time that students, parents, educators, and community members stand together and fight against this harmful practice.
School closures only happen in low-income communities and disproportionately impact students and families of color. Instead of getting to the root of problems, closure causes harm as it scatters students, pushes veteran teachers out, and hands space over to charter schools which do not serve all students, and often use racist “zero-tolerance” discipline policies. In many cases space and even whole buildings have been handed over to charter schools. Closures damage the school system as a whole, making every school with a majority of families with low incomes fear that their school will be the next one closed.
Mayor De Blasio has continued the closures that Bloomberg started. His Renewal Schoo
l Program claimed to give resources to struggling schools, but the truth is that most of the money was spent on outside consultants, instead of giving the schools the resources they actually need.
We seek to expose the failed policy of closing schools. We demand the city provide adequate resources for all schools, and we bring people together to advocate for finding real solutions to socio-economic problems such as low-wages, homelessness and poverty that affect so many of our students. Many of us are teachers who are members of the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE), a caucus within the United Federation of Teachers.
Some people see this as “a done deal” and do not see the point in fighting. But as long as this policy continues we are all under threat. We need as many school communities as possible to voice opposition to school closings and to advance alternatives. It’s powerful when people from different schools facing possible closure meet and share experiences. Continue Reading…