Friday, March 3, 2017

Resist privatization! presentation tomorrow in Westchester, Education Justice marches and great debate on charters

1.     Leonie Haimson will be speaking on the national and state push to privatize public education tomorrow Saturday, March 4, 2017 at the Westchester-East Putnam PTA Advocacy Breakfast. The event is free; just RSVP to

What: Westchester-East Putnam PTA Advocacy Breakfast
Where: The Education House, 5 Homeside Lane, White Plains, NY
When: Saturday, March 4, 2017, begins at 8:30 AM; I will be speaking at about 10 AM.

2.       There is also a People March for Educational Justice happening tomorrow Saturday in NYC and throughout the state.   Governor Cuomo has proposed a terrible budget that essentially eliminates foundation aid after this year – which was created after the CFE lawsuit to make education funding more equitable and send more resources to high-needs districts. His budget would also significantly increase funding to charter schools and raise the charter cap in NYC, as well as make NYC pay more for charter school rent or force us to squeeze even more charter school students into our already overcrowded school buildings.

NYC already pays over $1.7 BILLION annually to charter schools, and over $40 million a year for their rent. To spend any more would be a supreme hardship and would drain even more funds from our public schools. Meanwhile, it was announced today that Success Academy charters is renting Radio City Music Hall for their annual test prep rally, and last year spent over $68 million for their new headquarters in Manhattan.

For more information on when and where to meet across the state to March for Educational Justice and against privatization, please check out In NYC, the march starts in front of Trump Hotel at Columbus Circle at 9:30 AM.

3. On Wednesday Leonie had the pleasure of attending an IQ2 debate on charter schools. Please check out the video here and below.  The debaters included Gary Miron, Professor in Evaluation, Measurement, and Research at Western Michigan University and Julian Vasquez Heilig, Sacramento State Professor and a founding Board Member, Network for Public Education vs. Jeanne Allen, CEO of The Center for Education Reform and Gerard Robinson, Resident Fellow, AEI & former Florida Commissioner of Education.

The proposition under debate was whether charter schools are overrated.  The audience members voted at the beginning and the end.  After the debate was over, 21% changed their mind to agree with the proposition compared to 9% changed their mind in the other direction, for a total of 54% to 40% who now believed charters were overrated. More on the debate here and here.  Please watch if you have the time to see if you will change your mind!

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