State of Education: Education rally at the Capitol
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"They say cut back!" "We say fight back!"
The crowd chants their message in Albany at a public education rally, organized by Educate-NY Now.
Schenectady School Superintendent Lawrence Spring said, "The way the state funds education furthers and guarantees that race, economics, and disability will continue to determine the opportunity for educational achievement for our students."
A message on the importance of equality in and our schools, and another on diversity.
Albany School Superintendent Marguerite Wyngaard said, "It allows our students the opportunity to know children from across the world, across social divides, across racial and linguistic and ability boundaries, and a powerful example of what we have failed to learn as adults."
But the overall message here from educators, parents, and teachers was to state officials, and their main point was to provide schools with more than a half a billion dollars in additional school funding.
NYSUT Vice President Andrew Pallotta said, "Rural, urban, suburban, everybody is in the same boat now, and this boat is going down unless we get some people willing to step up to the plate."
One parent traveled from Buffalo. She says things have only gotten worse since she graduated five years ago.
Angelica Rivera said, "All those after school programs that I had that kept me in school are no longer there, and it's just sad. They're cutting even more classes, schools are closing, it's just a really sad thing, and we want to make it better."
Many schools are only getting a percentage of what they're due under the original state funding formula. Even some students are taking note of this.
Charnelle Jones said, " We don't really have upgraded books. We're using old textbooks. Last year we actually had a social studies teacher buy a new upgraded textbook out of his pocket money."
Tee- Ahna Gilmore said, "I think that more students need to be in the school system. More students need to know their education is important to everyone."
But to accomplish this, as many educators also mentioned, it's not going to be an easy fix, especially since the funding request includes $350 million in school aid and another $203 million is basic state aid.