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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Occupy Wall St. on the attack on public education; & Santos Crespo asks, where's the money?

See this video from Occupy Wall St. about the attack on public education in NYC with testimony from laid-off DC37 school aide Cliftonia Johnson and investigative journalist Chris Hedges.  For more on Ms. Johnson and some of the other nearly 700 school aides who were fired this year, and who performed valuable services to our kids, see this NYT article.  The entire Occupy Wall St. session, a people's trial of Goldman Sachs, took place on Nov. 3 at Zuccotti Park, is here

Also, see the letter that DC37 labor leader Santos Crespo sent to Mayor Bloomberg last week below, showing how the budget cuts to education have disproportionately hit the classroom and hurt our children as well as the lowest paid school workers.

Where’s the Money Mayor Bloomberg?

            Due to the exuberant contracting out waste in the Bloomberg Administration, school budgets have been slashed and cut to the bone.  On Wednesday, November 2, 2011 the Daily News printed an article titled, “Doing less with less: Budgets and choices shrink at city schools”.
            Department of Education spokesperson Natalie Ravitz stated that “Mayor Bloomberg had actually increased the city’s spending on public schools this year by 2 billion.” REALLY Ms. Ravitz?  The over 2000 Local 372 members that have been laid off in the past few years have a question for you, WHERE’S THE MONEY?
            Did you use it to lower class sizes? NO, since 74% of elementary schools have larger classes.  Did you spend it on tutoring to better prepare our children in schools? NO, since 56% of elementary schools have reduced tutoring. Did you spend it on text books? NO. Extracurricular activities? NO. Teachers? NO. And obviously NOT to add support services to the schools since Local 372 members are always first on the chopping block.
            So where did the $2 billion increase go Mr. Mayor? Did it go to your high priced consultants and out of control contract spending?  Every day it seems the City Council and Comptroller Liu are finding crooks robbing the city to line their pockets with contracting money, which the mayor seems to condone.
            Our schools are suffering Mr. Mayor, the community is suffering and our children will be the ones that pay. This is not about balancing the books, it’s about lowering gun violence and drug abuse in our neighborhoods, it’s about making sure our high school students are academically prepared for college and it’s about making sure our children grow up to be contributing members of society.
-- Santos Crespo, Jr., President, Local 372, DC 37, AFSCME

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The money has gone to increase testing,technology nonsense,outside consultants,and administrative positions. Budget cuts and lay-offs were done unfairly with some schools suffering greatly while others operating as if there is no cuts at all .