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Groups will rally tomorrow to reverse education budget cuts

Remember the “Keep the Promises Coalition”? The groups that banded together last year to fight the mayor’s 2008 school budget cuts are making a comeback tomorrow, though they’ve ditched the name.

The now-nameless coalition plans to rally on the steps of City Hall at noon tomorrow in favor of increased education spending in the city’s 2010 budget. Last year, the coalition protested midyear budget cuts, which they said violated the city’s promise to provide the level of funding agreed to in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. At the eleventh hour, the City Council ultimately reversed the budget cuts.

In light of this year’s economic recession, the groups are now focusing on pushing the city to raise revenue as well as save money for education, according to Eric Weltman, the advocacy director for the Alliance for Quality Education, a statewide organization that lobbies for school funding. Currently, Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget requires schools to cut their spending by about 5 percent, and community groups that provide after school services are also seeing their budgets slashed.

“We’re looking for whatever the mayor and the council can provide to fulfill our obligation to educate all of our kids,” Weltman said. “Our children can’t wait for an economic upturn.”

The groups rallying tomorrow include the United Federation of Teachers, the Alliance for Quality Education, the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, 32BJ, and Education Voters.