Hope everyone had a successful day! A little bit goes a long way. This is how a city wide movement grows, and the fact that there were double the number of schools (30!!) participating yesterday than 2 months ago means a lot.
So thanks to everyone, and especially folks who made the fliers, did translating, made the survey and spread the word.
There was some press yesterday at my school (Cable channel 12 and some local papers) and ch 47 and the chinese language cable station was at the press conference along with gotham schools and some other smaller papers. If you got any coverage please share.
Please send any photos or video to me and to Michael at: firstname.lastname@example.org so we can publicize our actions and make the next one even bigger. And if you woudnt mind a sentence or two describing your actions, something we can post with photos, that would be great.
Also, if people are feeling it, feel free to continue to rock FBF at your school, and if folks are down, maybe lets think about another even bigger one in early June. . .?
Have a great weekend, and probably see some of you at the nycore conference in a few hours!
PS if you got any push back from your chapter leader or other union folks on your action, please let us know.
Date: Friday, March 25, 2011
Sam Coleman, Teacher PS 24, NYCORE/GEM: 646-354-9362
Lisa Donlan, Parent and President CEC1: 917-848-5873
Julie Cavanagh, Teacher PS 15, GEM/CAPE: 917-836-6465
Today parents, students, teachers, and community members across the city took differentiated actions to demand our Mayor and our Governor put our children first. Education stakeholders city-wide protested Mayor Bloomberg’s destructive education policies, including his threat of over 4,000 teacher lay-offs and his attacks on our experienced educators, as well as Governor Cuomo’s devastating proposed education cuts. Individual schools picketed, signed petitions and letters, held teach-ins, engaged in teacher appreciation activities and disseminated flyers to spread awareness about budget cuts, proposed lay-offs, teacher protections, and what our Mayor and Governor should be fighting for if they were really interested in putting children first.
"On Thursday, March 24th thousands of average New Yorkers expressed their outrage against Bloomberg, a failed public ed system, Cuomo, Wall Street banksters, and the 'givebacks' and job losses being set in motion with the help of city and state legislators. One day later, during another Fight Back Friday, parents, teachers, students and community members around the city continued that struggle at their respective schools, more confident than ever, that in unity there is strength." Muba Yarofulani & Akinlabi Mackall Co-chairpersons,Coalition for Public Education / Coalicion por la Educacion Publica.
Tory Frye, parent at PS/IS 187 said, "Last year my son's elementary school lost the art teacher and the science teacher to budget cuts. The music teacher has no music room or instruments; there is no dedicated room for art and class sizes are uncomfortably high. We lost 7 faculty members altogether last year and now we are being told that we will lose another 5 teachers? There is no one left at my son's school to cut! I cannot begin to understand how we can allow budget cuts like the ones proposed by Governor Cuomo and supported by Mayor Bloomberg to occur, this is not putting our children first. There is a solution; we can maintain the tax on millionaires and billionaires, which would mitigate the impact of these budget cuts and simultaneously address the growing income disparity that sadly has come to characterize New York City."
Continued Sam Coleman, teacher, “My elementary school, PS 24, has lost over $1 million in the last year to budget cuts. Our school is made up of largely immigrant, working class and poor students of color. Due to budget cuts, students in our school have lost after school programs, arts programs, teachers and materials. It is morally and ethically unjustifiable for the mayor and governor to take these resources away from our families while granting millionaires and billionaires tax breaks. Poor and working class families of color and immigrants should not have their children's education short-changed in order to pay for a new yacht, or a new summer home for the wealthiest citizens of our city and state. Fight Back Friday's are a way for school communities to come together - parents, teacher and students - to say enough is enough. We are united in this fight, and we are not going to sit by quietly anymore.”
“We have witnessed the privileged few dominate the education conversation over the last year and we have seen our elected leaders capitulate to their interests over the needs of the more than 95% of us who are not millionaires and billionaires, most notably our children, more than 20% of whom are living in poverty. This week we have learned that Governor Cuomo accepted tens of thousands of dollars from the Koch brothers, individuals who seek to dismantle our democracy and protections for the average American. We have seen our Mayor spend millions of his own money to promote his own policy interest against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers who want the millionaire tax left in place and who support experienced educators. We do not live in an oligarchy or a plutocracy where the privileged few get to make decisions for the rest of us, we live in a democracy where representatives are supposed to serve those who elected them. We will fight for our children, for public education, for workers rights, and for the promise of a democracy and an elected leadership that truly represents the will of the people,” said Julie Cavanagh, teacher at PS 15 in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
More than twenty-five school-communities city-wide participated in Fight Back Friday including:
The Academy for Environmental Leadership, Brooklyn
The Academy of Urban Planning, Brooklyn
Bushwick School for Social Justice, Brooklyn
James Baldwin High School, Manhattan
Humanities Prep High School, Manhattan
PS 307, Brooklyn
Pan American Internnational HS, Queens
PS 24, Brooklyn
PS 15, Brooklyn
PS 157, Brooklyn
The Earth School ( PS 364 Manhattan)
The Neighborhood School (PS 363 Manhattan)
Lehman HS, Bronx
PS 193, The Gil Hodges School, Brooklyn
John Dewey HS, Brooklyn
Lyons Community School, Brooklyn
PS 368, Manhattan
The Green School, Brooklyn
PS 347, Manhattan
PS 187, Manhattan
Alfred E. Smith high school, Bronx
PS 230 Brooklyn
International High School at Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
PS 254, Brooklyn
PS 134 Manhattan
Rafael Hernandez School of the Performing Arts IS 217, Bronx
Banana Kelly HS, Bronx
PS 3, Brooklyn
PS 3, Manhattan
Tory Frye, Parent and SLT Member PS/IS 187: 646-418-6435
Stefanie Siegel, Teacher Paul Robeson High School: 347-721-2152
Michael Solo, Teacher Dewey High School: 917-750-7510