Buffalo Forum Update

Demand Public Control of Public Schools
Militant Protest Rejects Cuomo's Attacks on Right to Education

Demand Public Control of Public Schools

Militant Protest Rejects Cuomo's Attacks
on Right to Education

On January 1 more than 120 teachers, students, parents and community organizers came out to oppose Governor Cuomo’s attacks on the right to education. They chanted and marched in the bitter cold, calling on Cuomo to stop his vicious attacks on teachers and students. In speeches and signs they demanded Full Funding Now! Equal Rights for All! The demonstrators targeted Cuomo, who came to Buffalo to give his inaugural speech. Cuomo is planning an “aggressive legislative package,” designed to eliminate public governance of the schools and give the state the power to: remove school boards and replace them with a state appointed “czar;” hire and fire teachers; hand public school buildings over to private interests; and more. As many put it, the attacks are not about education — they are about the private takeover of public schools and handing over public education funds to Wall Street.

Teachers and students from various Buffalo schools, including Lafayette and MLK, both threatened with closure, School 45 and Riverside, as well as Kenmore and KenTon, East Aurora, Hamburg, Iroquois, Lancaster, Springville, West Seneca, Wilson, and others spoke out. They opposed the cuts to education that have been taking place and the Common Core testing and teacher evaluation regime. Many are organizing to refuse the New York State tests in the spring and urged parents to join the organizing efforts. People stood up for Public Control of Public Schools and also spoke to the need to change the content of education, so that it serves the interests of the youth and society. As signs put it, Teachers Say: Educate to Change the World! and Let Teachers Teach and Youth Will Lead the Way. It is clear that while Cuomo seems to think he can defeat resistance in Buffalo, teachers, students and parents together are saying NO! Our schools and children are not for sale!



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