A Jackson Heights charter school facing a budget freeze (which is tantamount to a budget cut as these school rely on year after year increases) decided to fight back against the cuts. In addition to letter writing and pone banking politicians the school got together and took their message to the street. Check out this inspiring video:
Here is what one of the organizers said about the event:
As you might know, we have been hit with the devastating news that politicians in Albany are seeking to "freeze" charter school funding at 08-09 levels for the next school year. For our little school in Jackson Heights, that would represent a loss of revenue (a "cut") of $500,000 to $612,000 for next year, on top of the state aid we don't receive due to the funding lag, a double cut. Needless to say, this would mean a massive change in our ability to function as an effective, successful school. After a staff meeting yesterday, we decided we needed to speak out and fight against this unfair double cut on New York charter Schools.
Taking the morning to prepare, I worked with our staff to guide our 350 middle school and high school students into action. Students received a teach-in and question and answer session. Then students broke into 12 different classrooms to write letters, call elected officials, alert the press, make signs, design chants, make flyers for our local community. We hit the street an hour and a half later at let our community, Jackson Heights, know how the Renaissance community feels about these proposed cuts. We rallied in front of two Jackson Heights local officials offices and marched down the main commercial district in the neighborhood, 37th avenue. Needless to say, it was inspiring.
The video is Part 2 of a 3 part series chronicling the protest, you can check out the other parts if you click on the video.