ONEONTA, N.Y. May 25, 2011 -- Hundreds of parents, students, educators and their supporters will rally at Muller Plaza at 5 p.m. Thursday in support of fair funding for public schools and the State University of New York.
The rally is sponsored by the SUNY Oneonta chapter of United University Professions and the Oneonta Teachers Association. Both are affiliates of New York State United Teachers.
In addition to standing up for education funding, the activists oppose recent attacks on workers' rights and their standard of living in New York and across the country.
Oneonta-area educators are concerned about how budget cuts hurt students and their futures. SUNY Oneonta has lost 40 percent of its base state aid in the last three years, $7.7 million. Otsego County schools have lost $2 million in state aid this last year alone.
Speakers will give specifics on the impact to students from pre-K to college. They include: Andy Pallotta, NYSUT's executive vice president; Phillip Smith, UUP president; Sandy Bright, Oneonta TA; Gina Keel, UUP Oneonta; Matthew Annis, SUNY Oneonta graduate; and Billy Easton, Alliance for Quality Education.
The stop is part of "Students First: The Reality Tour," organized by the AQE, Citizen Action of New York and NYSUT.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.