New York is home to more billionaires than anywhere else on the planet. Yet just blocks from the center of the epicenter of the global financial universe, students are going to public schools that are barely scraping by.
New York has enormous wealth, but we also have one of the worst track-records for inequity in the nation for funding for our public schools. While the richest New Yorkers hoard their wealth, our public schools and communities battle year after year with not enough resources. Students go to school in dilapidated buildings. They crowd into classrooms that have outdated technology and textbooks. When they struggle, there are not enough counselors and support staff to give them the help they need.
Money matters: without more resources flowing to the neediest New Yorkers and communities, this inequity will only get worse. A small tax increase on the 1% would generate about $4 billion of new revenue, enough to fully fund Foundation Aid. We need our representatives in Albany to have the courage to stand with students. Write them now and demand the wealthiest New Yorkers to return what was taken from our communities.
The six State Senators from Long Island are protecting a handful of millionaires over thousands of public school children. Write them now demanding they fight for an equitable state budget by raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires to fully fund public schools.
State budgets are both moral and fiscal documents. We need the New York state legislature to fight for a budget that aligns with our priorities and values. Equitable taxation of the ultra-rich is more than a fiscal policy: it is what is right and what is just. It’s time to end educational racism, it’s time to end inequality, and it’s time to #MakeBillionairesPay.