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School budget cuts petition reaches 20K names, officials say

As city and union officials remain mired in budget negotiations, parents and education activists gathered at City Hall today with a new tool to battle against school cuts—scrolls of signatures that reached far beyond the steps.

They unrolled seven of the 50-foot-long lists, which they said contained of the names of 20,000 people who have signed a petition against the mayor’s proposed budget. That number included over 16,000 online signatures.

“Unless you’re stupid or ignorant, you understand that 20,000 of your constituents have signed this, and don’t want you to make these cuts. If you ignore that, you shouldn’t be in office,” said Council Member Robert Jackson, chair of the council’s education committee.

During the rally, UFT President Michael Mulgrew accused Mayor Bloomberg of “playing political games” with the city’s children. “We will not sit idly by as you attack our schools and the services we need,” he said.