Plea to Save Our Schools

More than 700 traveled from across all corners of the state to rally for more state aid to education  Wednesday. Speakers at the Educate NY Now rally ranged from a young third-grader to a great grandparent, Ina Downing, who is so mad about cuts to schools she tore off her wig. You can find that video, and other speakers in the slideshow below.

Here’s a link to the Albany Times-Union coverage of the event. Here’s a link to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle’s coverage. Here’s a link to Daily Freeman (Kingston) coverage. Here’s a link to the Your News Now coverage, Note: To view the video, you may need to be a Time Warner Cable subscriber.

Here’s a link to the ambitious schedule of 10 buses. Remember that to get on the bus as early as 8 a.m. many had to get in cars long before that. That was the case of Brian Cunningham, a physics teacher in the Riverhead schools on Long Island as well as Ingrid Garrard, a middle school reading teacher in the Elmira schools. High school Participation in Government classes from Unatego and Olean turned the event into a rolling civics classroom, learning the cold realities about making your opinions known in a tough fiscal climate. The students said they don’t want to lose Advanced Placement courses, sports, music for themselves, or their younger brothers and sisters. They talked to numerous reporters at the event. They stood in the cold, as the sun set on the Capitol buildings behind them, holding signs that echoed the Langston Hughes poem “A dream deferred is a dream denied.”

And they vowed to keep fighting. All took postcards to send to their lawmakers, asking them to restore state aid cuts. Many promised to make phone calls, or to even come back to Albany for future lobbying efforts. When hearing about a Feb. 12 lobbying effort to get more funds for early childhood education, the group of Olean students asked “Will that be inside?”

I said: “Most of it will, but a lot of these events do feature an outside rally, so dress warm.”

Here’s some photos from the event and video of speakers.

Have your pictures added by emailing them to bsandber@nysutmail.org.

Just because it’s fun, here’s a news account in Spanish.

You can find more pictures and links by using #educateNYnow on Twitter.

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