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Alliance for Quality Education-Cuomo, you're hurting our children

Zakiyah Ansari | , Organizer Aqe | 8/24/2011, 10:16 a.m.

Yes, governor, your cuts will hurt our children!

Amsterdam News editors, as I read your recent interview with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, I became outraged by what seems to be a political game. Governor Cuomo needs to understand that the education of our children is not a game. He stated during the budget negotiations that the education cuts wouldn't hurt children. Perhaps not some, but they are hurting ours.

Ask parents at Upper East Side private schools or Scarsdale public schools if money matters in the education of their children-they know it does. That's why they have state-of-the-art facilities, dozens of Advanced Placement courses and a host of art and music classes. As a mother of eight children and an educational advocate, I've personally experienced the effects of these cuts. We are seeing cuts to our art, music, Advanced Placement, tutoring and after-school programs. Class sizes are rising and guidance counselors and other critical supports are being reduced.

Cuomo bragged to the Amsterdam News that there were no New York City teacher layoffs as a result of his budget cuts, but he failed to mention that we lost 2,600 teachers to attrition. For New York City schools to see $1 billion cut from education over the last two years, it can only have a negative impact on what schools can offer. Schools in Black and Latino communities across this state were cut more than twice as much as those in wealthier and whiter communities.

Let's not forget the 13-year Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) fight, when New York's highest court found that children were being shortchanged of the education that is their constitutional right. Now Cuomo has entirely stripped away the state's commitment to fund CFE.

Whose kids will be hurt the most by his cuts? OURS!

Zakiyah Ansari

Organizer

AQE/CEJ