ALBANY, N.Y. March 2, 2015 - More than one thousand parents, educators, and public school advocates will demonstrate at the Capitol today in protest of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's anti-education budget, which shortchanges students while advancing a "test-and-punish" agenda.
The "Call Out Cuomo March on Albany" will begin at 4:15 p.m., starting in the concourse of the Empire State Plaza and winding up with a rally at the Million Dollar Staircase on the third floor of the state Capitol. Clergy and labor leaders will also participate.
"The governor has declared war on students, parents and educators," NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said. "He has done it through his inflammatory anti-teacher rhetoric, and through his proposed budget that pushes the agenda of his billionaire backers. Make no mistake: We will not back down. We stand united in our commitment to standing up for what all kids need. Adequate investment in our schools, an equitable distribution of aid, and working to close the achievement gap is where our focus should be — not on increased testing, backdoor voucher plans and penalizing teachers and schools."
Magee will address marchers today. Other speakers will include: NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta; United University Professions President Frederick Kowal; CUNY's Professional Staff Congress President Barbara Bowen; New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento; Alliance for Quality Education Executive Director Billy Easton; Rev. Valerie Faust of Albany; and legislators from both sides of the political aisle.
"Gov. Cuomo's education agenda is vindictive and dangerous," NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said. "Yet despite the wealth of his billionaire backers and hedge fund friends, we will not be intimidated. Our parents, educators and communities are dedicated to defending and preserving our public education system so that all students have an equal opportunity to succeed."
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.