Parents of the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice and the Alliance for Quality Education, along with the millions of parents, students and educators across the city, are infuriated by and dismayed at this year’s education budget. Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, and the entire City Council have failed the children of NYC.
“The 1.1 million students of the NYC public education system have already faced the trauma of living through COVID-19,” said Natasha Capers, Director of the Coalition for Educational Justice. “Black and brown students, students with disabilities, low-income students have faced the brunt of the impact of the pandemic and were left behind during remote learning. They have lost family members and loved ones. They have lost teachers and principals. When they return to school, they need more supportive adults to facilitate wellness and healing. They need culturally responsive learning environments, instruction, and teachers who know about the communities they come from to best provide the education they need.
“When will electeds start protecting the educational rights and the literal futures of our children? When will electeds stop catering to white fears, and instead finally prioritize the well-being and safety of all the Black and brown students in our education system?” said Natasha Capers, Director of the Coalition for Educational Justice. “We want police free schools, not simply transferring who supervises the 5,000 school officers from the NYPD to the DOE. We want culturally responsive education, not more of the same curricula that hurt and harm our children. We want healing-centered schools and not schools that further traumatize children and our communities.”
“Time and time again our schools are forced to do more with less, while still meeting higher and higher expectations. Children and school communities have faced incredible challenges this year and that will only continue in the year to come. Every public school still does not have a counselor, a nurse, or a social worker. In fact, schools have already begun to drastically lose counselors, even before today’s budget was announced,” said Maria Bautista, Campaigns Director at the Alliance for Quality Education. “Many schools still have more officers than they do counselors. We know continued policing disproportionately inflicts violence on Black and brown students; we know students need socioemotional support when they return to schools. The city claims to support its students, yet schools continue to be underfunded and under-resourced and the NYPD is the only agency without a hiring freeze.”