Ron Deutsch, executive director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, thanked the teachers in the crowd for doing the best they can with budget cuts and blame the schools get from politicians. Noting that banking, mortgage and insurance companies caused the financial meltdown, he said: “Wall Street deserves a detention and teachers deserve the bonuses.”
With about $7 billion in tax giveaways, he asked the pro-education crowd at the “One Voice United” rally if “we should create some APPRs for some CEOs.”
Here's a link to a number of the tax giveaways that NYFF is working to increase awareness:
Echoing Deutsch’s concerns about closing tax loopholes, Ivette Alfonso, president of Citizen Action, said: “We’re in a crisis where education is not valued and I am petrified of all the budget cuts.”
Holding up a picture of artwork her 7-year-old daughter created she begged the crowd to keep up the energy that was created June 8 and carry it forward.
“Without teachers, without our schools, where would we be?” she asked.
A parent of 3-year-0ld twin boys, Angelica Rivera (pictured above) says lack of funding from the state leaves her "terrified" for the future of public education.
"It's not only in my city of Buffalo, but across the state," says the parent leader of the Alliance for Quality Education. She lists high dropout rates and suspension rates combined with schools closures, cuts to pre-kindergarten, art and music, layoffs of teachers librarians and social workers and overcrowded classrooms as "just ain't right."
Rivera makes an impassioned plea for more than the $25 million lawmakers provided for the research-proven benefits of early childhood education.
Thanking the thousands of parents, students and community leaders who rallied with teachers, she asked all of them to return in January "to fight for a fair budget ... to tell our politicians they need to fully fund our schools."