Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo announced he is partnering with billionaire charter school backer and failed education reformer Bill Gates to “reimagine” schools in New York State. Meanwhile, Cuomo has included zero NYC K-12 educators, parents or students on his taskforce to reopen New York State and is proposing unnecessary, devastating budget cuts to public education instead of taxing his ultra-wealthy donors.
As educators, we know what our students need and we imagine better for our schools every day, and public school parents and students do too.
Collectively, we are the experts. We have the vision. And when we asked our members and allies to #imagineschools with us, they confirmed what our students really need
- Our students need FULLY FUNDED schools. A traumatizing, debilitating pandemic is not the time to slash school budgets.
- Our students need small classes so every child gets the attention they need and so we can return to school safely during this pandemic.
- Our students need full time counselors and social workers.
- Our students need restorative justice, not more policing.
- Our students need meaningful, culturally responsive, multi-lingual anti-racist instruction, not high-stakes testing.
- Our students need housing and their families need rent relief.
- Our students need fully funded special education services.
- Our schools need to finally, finally, be integrated.
We do NOT need Bill Gates or Governor Cuomo to helicopter into our classrooms and “reimagine schools” so that big-tech corporations can reap more profits while our students suffer. We DO need our state and local leaders to LISTEN to stakeholders–teachers, parents and students– about what our schools can and should look like during COVID-19 and beyond.
If you agree, call and write your state senator and assembly member today to tell them to reverse the Governor’s proposed cuts to education and stand up for public schools!
Some photo highlights from our #ImagineSchools action last Thursday: