March Issue
March 02, 2015

Capitol Briefing: Thousands join fight to defend public education

Author: Ned Hoskin
Source: NYSUT United
Fired Up

Thousands of boots crunched through icy snow in single-digit temperatures last month as communities all over the state defended their schools and campuses against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s vicious attacks on public education. Lit up like beacons in the night, school buildings were bursting at the seams.

“Our kids matter! And you matter! You showed up to show the governor and lawmakers how much you care!” said Kristan Wager, a parent who emceed at the recent #AllKidsNeed regional forum in (7) Syracuse.

Organized with vibrant support from students, parents, administrators, NYSUT Board members and scores of local union members, regional community forums and rallies are blanketing the state like a winter storm. The events — a grassroots reaction to Cuomo’s blatantly unfair, spiteful and destructive education agenda — continue through March. (See page 8.)

(1) About 2,000 people marched in the cold before the forum at Minerva Deland School in Fairport.

In (8) Olean, 1,000 western New Yorkers rallied in the snow for fairness. In Sherburne-Earlville and (2) Camden, members stood up for their schools, while (6, 11) New York City neighborhood schools have hosted or will be hosting events to hear from parents and education professionals alike.

Citizens turned out in droves in (5) Kingston and (3) Colonie.

Communities across the (4) North Country coordinated a day-long “Call Out Cuomo” bus tour and hundreds more marched at the Capitol on a Moral Monday.

Everywhere we look, inspired NYSUT members are putting their creativity to work — making signs and posters, circulating petitions, penning songs, filming home-grown videos and photographing the moments when #CardboardCuomo visits classrooms to see what #AllKidsNeed.

March 12 is NYSUT Day of Solidarity. Join the fight!