Thursday, September 8, 2011

Coverage of DC 37 Press Conference Opposing 800 Layoffs of Lowest Paid School Workers

See Brooklyn Eagle article on the press conference below.

I taped almost the entire event until it started raining. There were some excellent speeches exposing the hypocrisy of the high spending on consultants by the BloomCott administration while stripping schools in the neediest areas of the people who work in the lunchroom and put children on the buses. Who will be asked to do these jobs now? Why the teachers of course, the people who are already overloaded with so much bullshit work in addition to the teaching load which will be exacerbated by higher class sizes.
Teacher Kelly Wolcott shows school supplies for the year

Here are the first cuts of videos. City Councilman Jumaane Williams, whose arrest I wrote about. where I pointed to the reality of so many kids of color who get stopped by police so often and asked where are the ed deformers on monitoring bad police instead of bad teachers on this so-damaging an aspect of kids' lives. Williams shows up at everything and is one of our fave politicians.

Then Leonie Haimson, who needs no introduction as Noah Gotbaum paid homage to her incredible work for over a decade.

And the UFT's Michael Mendel. To some people's surprise, Michael and I have had a great relationship over the years. He goes out of his way to be civil to everyone and puts politics aside. (He even called me twice after I broke my arm.) What I love about his speech is his putting the UFT on the line on class size. Of course, always watch what they do not what the say.

Finally in this batch is UFT Chapter Leader and 9 year teacher Kelly Wolcott who has started to make a big splash on the young activist scene who talked about the importance to a school of the workers being laid off and held up the entire year's supply of paltry supplies. Kelly is a core member of Teachers Unite.

The narrators are Noah Gotbaum, whose dad Victor headed DC 37 for so many years, and Magnificent Mona Davids, who was the major organizer behind this event. More vids up in a post later tonight.

Chapter Leader Kelly Wolcott holds up sum total of supplies provided for school year

School Year Starts With Protests Here
by Mary Frost (, published online 09-07-2011

Toxic PCBs, School Aide Layoffs Worry Parents By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
NEW YORK — Parent and teacher groups kicked off the school year with protests at City Hall and Department of Education (DOE) headquarters yesterday, hoping to draw attention to two issues: the dangers of toxic PCBs leaking into classrooms and the plight of 800 school employees who are getting the ax.

Protesting Layoffs
Parents, teachers, labor and community leaders gathered for the late afternoon protest against the proposed layoffs of school aides and other school personnel. According to one sponsor, NYC Public School Parents, the school system will be losing low-paid but vital employees while spending tens of millions of dollars for highly paid consultants, new assessments, office expansions and unproven online learning initiatives.
According to the New York City Parents Union, “Laying off the lowest-paid employees on the Department of Education’s payroll will wreak havoc upon the lives of our schoolchildren with the greatest needs — students with disabilities, students in our poorest neighborhoods, and students who receive free lunch.” The group said that most of the layoffs will affect Black and Latino workers and students.
Leonie Haimson, parent and executive director of Class Size Matters, said in a statement, “Over the course of this administration, we have seen the New York City Department of Education systematically disinvest in schools, in classrooms, and in kids, while the budget for contracts, consultants and bureaucrats has mushroomed.”

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