Monday, May 17, 2010

Informational pickets before or after school on Friday June 4th against budget cuts and layoffs

It started in one elementary school in Brooklyn. Teachers began meeting at lunch hour a few months ago to discuss issues educators were facing. They reached out to parents on some of the issues of concern to them. As the budget crisis grew, they began to zero in on that issue. They decided to hold an informational rally/picket before school on June 4.

Word spread though the GEM organizing committee. The key ingredient was that each June 4 event would be homegrown locally based on issues the school was facing, not centrally directed. Truly from the grass roots. Other schools began to pick up the theme.

There was no stress on numbers. Even if a few showed up that would be viewed in a positive manner. An important aspect was to chronicle the event with a follow-up report and some pictures/video to be posted on the GEM blog. And continue building school organizing committees for the future.

It has become increasingly clear. There will little left of a public school system or a functioning union unless people start taking action at the school level, with a long term goal of bringing it all together.

On Saturday, May 29, some of the schools will be gathering in Prospect Park from 1:30-4:30 for a sign making/picnic/unifying event. (Look for details on the Ed Notes and GEM blogs.)

Here is a blurb sent out by one school with a sample flier.

A number of schools have been organizing to have informational pickets before or after school on Friday June 4th against budget cuts and layoffs or any other issues they want to highlight. We encourage education workers to come out even if 3 or 4 people hand out leaflets in front of their schools. You can be as creative as you want to be in this process, namely, distributing buttons, bumper stickers, your school's brochure etc.

Do something on that day to express opposition to the budget cuts and layoffs. Budget cuts and layoffs are part and parcel of the attacks against public education and public school educators. It is an attempt by the powers-that-be to solve the financial crisis they created - by squandering the social wealth - on our backs. This is unacceptable.

In Unity, there is Strength.
Let us all stand up together to defend public education!
Here's an example that you may use to promote the June 4th action at your school; it was originally produced by the staff of a school in Brooklyn; you may be able to adapt it for your school to promote June 4th; share your own ideas with us too:

Parents and Concerned Community Members!

JUNE 4th 7:30 am – 8:30 am

Join PS 24 Staff and Families for a Picket on 4th ave (bet. 37th/38th st.) to protest budget cuts and teacher layoffs!

Actions also planned at: PS 15K, PS 30M, PS 197M, Jamaica High School, Prospect Heights International High School and a growing list of school communities

Let your voice be heard!

Budget cuts from the city and state will directly affect our children!

The cuts will...

· Greatly increase already overcrowded classrooms by eliminating thousands of teacher jobs.

· Eliminate important programs from after-school to art.

· Impact the crucial support services your children receive.

· Reduce access to supplies like books and technology.


The $700,000,000 grants being offered by the federal government




Parents, teachers and our communities did not create this financial crisis! Wall Street did! We bailed them out!

We want our money back for education!

1 comment:

  1. They should protest the new agreement on teacher evaluations too!


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