Cynthia Nixon, member of the Alliance for Quality
Education and star of "Sex In The City," Russell
Simmons and Minister Benjamin Muhammad of the Hip-Hop Summit Action
Network, together with the United Teachers Federation (more names to be announced
WHAT: A "Mobilization For Education"
march on City Hall to protest Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki's proposed
budget cuts for education. If the budget cuts pass, 1.2 billion dollars will
have been slashed from our children's public school system in 2002 and 2003,
combined. Thousands are expected to march.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 4th at 3:30pm
WHERE: City Hall
WHY: Mayor Bloomberg will make his final budget
proposal for the city on June 5.
Cynthia Nixon, the Alliance for Quality Education
and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network have joined forces to make it clear how
New York feels about these budget cuts to education. They are mobilizing a mass
public response - including everyone from New York parents and students to well-known
celebrities in the entertainment world - to convince Mayor Bloomberg not to
make these cuts.
BACKGROUND ON THE BUDGET CUTS FOR EDUCATION:
In January, 2001, the State Supreme Court determined
that the state was failing to provide every child the sound basic education
guaranteed in the State Constitution (Campaign for Fiscal Equity vs. State of
NY). The state was ordered to change the funding formula and adequately fund
schools to fulfill that obligation. The governor appealed that decision shortly
thereafter, and proposed a 2001-'02 state budget with minimal funding for schools.
After he refused to negotiate an increase in education funding, the state legislature
passed a "bare bones" budget that gutted funding to schools across
the state. That appeal is still pending.
At the city level for 2002-'03, Mayor Bloomberg
has proposed $358 million in cuts to the operating budget, plus a contingency
cut of $115 million, and $693 million in school construction and repair cuts,
bringing cuts to education to about $1.2 billion. These new cuts will be experienced
directly in the classroom by our kids.