Today, Citizen Action of New YorkThe Alliance for Quality Education, and New York State United Teachers launched a statewide campaign called “Students First: The Reality Tour.”

At a press conference in the Legislative Office Building in Albany, AQE Executive Director Billy Easton spoke adamantly about the negative effects of Governor Cuomo’s budget cuts to education that are now being identified across the state as local school budgets pass. Last year, 10,000 school employees lost their jobs, including teachers, administrators, secretaries, aides, librarians, and other indiduals. Class sizes have increased, many essential in-school and after-school programs have been cut, and schools have been permanently closed. This year, 16,000 more school employees will also lose their jobs. It is important to note that the people losing their jobs are not just statistics — they are hard-working people with jobs and families that are being put out of work. Every school employee has a direct and tangible effect on a student’s life. Be it a teacher, aide, hall monitor, librarian, or secretary,  these people are employed to enhance a student’s experience and to contribute to his or her well being.

All of this, while millionaires and billionaires are getting a huge tax break.

Developing our kids’ minds from a young age is of the utmost priority. Early childhood education is increasingly being cited as one of the most important factors in a child’s future success. 75% of a child’s brain development and 85% of intellect, personality, and social skills are developed by age five. And, several studies, most notably the High Scope Perry Preschool Project, estimate that every dollar invested in early childhood education returns over seven dollars by the time a child turns 19. Governor Cuomo’s cuts are directly affecting our kids’ opportunities for success!

And, contrary to popular belief, the millionaires’ tax doesn’t expire until the end of the year. There is still time for us to tell Governor Cuomo that it’s simply not right to put the interests of millionaires and billionaires before the needs of our kids.

You can help! Tweet your message with the hashtag #KidsNotMillionaires to help fight for our teachers, aides, and other school staff. Let Cuomo know that our children need quality education and that we cant afford to cut their future.


In the news:

Advocacy Groups suggest reinstating “Millionaires’ Tax”

Groups Urge Lawmakers, Governor to extend Millionaires’ Tax

The Public School Boycot

Cuts to Schools: “Devastating” – Education Advocates

Most School Budgets Pass