This is do or die time.
I realize I may sound cynical and arrogant here but I worry we have collectively missed the boat. This is do or die time.
Our strength lies in the fact that we are not as removed from reality as the UFT leadership-we are not blinded by our short term battles and the need to declare victory no matter how destructive or irrelevant the win!
We are about to lose the war on public education.
Charter schools in NYC by law can now expand as much as they want, and new charters and existing expanded charters MUST be given space in our public schools OR we must provide and pay for their rent, along with the other many advantages charters benefit from, including now a bigger per pupil allocation, or a bigger piece of the never big enough edu-pie.
What does this mean for our schools? their students? and staff?
Do the math- the money and space and resources will come from somewhere. There is not a lot to cut- little to no discretionary funding as it is.
At some point - a not very far off point - there simply is not enough to go around and public schools will cease to function. Layoffs, cutting programs, choking by charter expansion, etc...
Game over. Education = privatized, last man standing will be the charter chains.
Anti-testing? Contract? PEP? These are all worthy battles, of course, but WE JUST GOT PLAYED.
As in CHECK MATE.
Every slime ball we elect in Albany (I know of a mere 3 exceptions) sold out, sold us out and sold out public education.
They shrug or grin or shed crocodile tears and sock away their lulus and pet "asks" and we keep putting them in office to keep on keeping on.
Cuomo is the charter lobby's chief lobbyist. He stands ON children. Bring him down and all of our battles become relevant again.
Let this outrage go by and we have lost, literally.
We need to think about putting away the siloed asks and start acting as disciplined and focused as the opposition machine does.
We may not have billions for ads, we may not own the media and their editorials but we do have millions of feet- who can vote. The ads do not elect anyone- we do. Bill de Blasio proved that last November.
Who would have thought that 12 years of destruction under Bloomberg was nothing compared to what we just experienced after a mere 3 months under the new administration?
Some parents are planning to lobby the Governor's local office (midtown) next Thursday, April 10th at 4:30.
I hope MORE and Change the Stakes and all the other groups fighting for public education can join in and send a strong message.