Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered outside the New York Public Library for a protest rally Thursday afternoon against the terms of the state budget deal struck last month in Albany. Then they carried their signs to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York City office.
The protesters were pushing back against the new safeguards for charter schools seeking space in New York City. The new rules, set by state lawmakers as part of the budget deal, require the city to provide public space or help schools find and pay for private space.
“The new charter law is absolutely disgraceful. Our public schools are losing classrooms and programs right and left because of co-locations,” John Fielder, president of the District 7 Community Education Council, said in a statement. “I say, let charters pay for their own buildings because they can afford it, instead of hurting the education of our public school kids.”
The protest also called on the state to deliver billions of dollars that the city is owed because of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. A plaintiff of that lawsuit, former City Council education committee chair Robert Jackson, was among the protesters, as was his successor, Danny Dromm, and representatives of dozens of advocacy groups. The protest was spearheaded in part by the elected parent councils from school districts across the city.