Petition With Over 10,000 Signatures Calls for Support of Several Assembly Budget Proposals in Order to Combat Poverty and Institutionalized Racism
(Long Island, NY) A group of supporters representing nearly 10,000 petition signers gathered Wednesdaymorning at both Governor Cuomo and Senate Majority Leader Flanagan’s office to demand funding for education.
The petition, launched on ColorOfChange.org, says that with 50% of public school students now living in poverty, Governor Cuomo and Senator Flanagan have an obligation to provide the proper resources to our educational system in order to address poverty in schools head on. This includes fulfilling Campaign for Fiscal Equity funding through a $1.1Bil increase in Foundation Aid which would directly impact districts with students most in need. As well as funding community schools, which by and large have proven to acknowledge and alleviate outlying factors Black, Latino, and impoverished students face, while improving student achievement
“As the Majority Leader Senator Flanagan must consider the needs of ALL public school students. The low-income minority public schools on Long Island are struggling after several years of being starved from state aid. The Senate needs to prioritize our neediest students over the hedge fund billionaires that fund their campaigns” said Blanca Villanueva, Education Organizer for the Alliance for Quality Education.
The petition largely supports the Assembly’s proposed millionaires tax as the most logical form of fixed continuous funds, to ensure a full phase in of the CFE money, now totaling $4.4 billion statewide. Petition signers are concerned with the fact that both Governor Cuomo and Senator Flanagan have accepted millions of dollars in campaign funds from the hedge funders that the proposed tax would affect most. Nonetheless, the demand is for the legislators to stand up for kids, rather than hedge fund financiers, in order to properly fund education.
“Not only do we need $1.1 billion of Foundation Aid in this budget, we need Governor Cuomo and Senator Flanagan to commit to a 1% tax raise on the 1% in order to ensure a complete CFE phase-in within the next 4 years. The funding has been started and stalled for too long and it is past time to ensure that all students get the access to a high quality education they deserve through proper, equitable funding”, said Maria Bautista, Campaign Coordinator Alliance for Quality Education.
“The approval of CFE was supposed to guarantee greater opportunities for our children of color, but the state hasn’t delivered! Just like countless other commitments that have been made to benefit Black and Latino families, our officials have neglected to follow through,” said Krista Carter of The Black Institute. “This money will come directly from the biggest pockets in the city to the schools that need it most and the kids who need it most–children who are losing out on quality education because of their skin color and zip code.”
“As a constituent of Senator Flanagan’s, I am calling on him to support the Millionaire’s Tax. I valued my public school education and I want the same opportunity for students growing up in his district and across Long Island. That means that we need to fully fund our schools,” said Olivia Santoro, Long Island Progressive Coalition.
“We will never be able to secure the future of New York if our legislators continue to ignore the dismantling of education that happens when we fail to equitably fund our schools. It’s been 10 years since the CFE decision was made and Governor Cuomo and Senate Majority Leader Flanagan have the opportunity to follow the Assembly’s lead in finally doing what is right,” said Natasha Capers, Coordinator for the Coalition for Educational Justice. “Black, Latino, and low income students cannot wait for access to resources and a high quality education that funding brings.”