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    ‘Some People’ Respond to Governor Cuomo’s Harsh Criticism of Parents Advocating for Educational Opportunity and Funding Equity

    ‘Some People’  Respond to Governor Cuomo’s Harsh Criticism of Parents Advocating for Educational Opportunity and Funding Equity

    Mothers and Grandmothers Note Limited Educational Opportunities for Their Children Compared with Those in Wealthier Districts

    ALBANY, NY (March 10, 2017) — Thirty-five mothers and grandmothers from across New York State who are advocates for educational opportunity and funding equity sent a letter to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today responding to his statement that, “For some people it’s never enough, it’s never enough, it’s never enough.” 

    The Governor’s statement was a reaction to thousands of parents and community members who took to the streets across the state last Saturday to demand educational justice for children in communities of color and high poverty communities. 

    The mothers’ and grandmothers’ letter details the contrast in educational opportunities for their children, with those in wealthy suburban schools around the state.

    “We are not “some people”! We are parents. We are taxpayers. We are voters. When you say for “some people it’s never enough” you are talking about our children,” the letter reads. “Like all parents, we want the best opportunities for our children. We will never be satisfied with an education system that provides opportunities to some children, but denies them to others.  We want our children to have a world class education, one that addresses the realities they face every day and provides them a pathway to college or careers. Your response is that we ask for too much.”

    The mothers and grandmothers demanded that Governor Cuomo support a three-year phase-in of $4.3 billion in Foundation Aid, as recommended by the New York State Board of Regents. The $4.3 billion is owed under the 2007 Campaign for Fiscal Equity settlement. 

    The letter compares the opportunities provided to students in wealthy school districts to those for students in low-income areas. It points to Chappaqua, Edgemont, Jericho, Syosset and other districts for examples of the kinds of programs and services that are possible when schools are well-funded, in stark contrast to the difficulties faced by students in low-income districts such as Buffalo, Utica, Albany, Yonkers, Brentwood and Syracuse. 

    “These school districts often spend $30,000 or more per pupil each year and are able to offer a wealth of amazing programs for their students. Our school districts cannot afford to spend anywhere near this amount, and are unable to offer a comparable education. We do not criticize these communities for investing in their children. As Governor you have the power to end these inequities, instead your policies tolerate and perpetuate them and you dismiss our demand for justice,” the letter states. 

    “As concerned parents, we will continue to tell this story of educational inequity. You have neglected the state’s moral and constitutional obligation to adequately educate all students regardless of where they live, the color of their skin, or the size of their families’ bank accounts. It is time for New York State to end a school finance system that benefits the children of “some people” at the expense of the rest of us.”

    Read the full letter here.

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