Oneonta will be participating in a statewide campaign to promote unity amongst parents, teachers, students, administrators, and other members of our communities. The Oneonta event will begin at 4:30 pm on March 26 at the Center Street School Building, 31 Center St. Oneonta. Join hands with members of our communities to encircle the building in a symbolic gesture of protection! While no longer used as a school, Center Street School is a well-known landmark and a symbol of the loss of local schools across the state. Via invited media and through social media, we will make a statement that we stand together to protect our beloved local public schools. Upload your pictures using the hashtag #protectourschools. All members from all districts are invited to participate.
It is essential that in this critical period of reform, parents and educators come together for the common cause of protecting public education. We are participating in the Protect our Schools Campaign in order to demonstrate solidarity with educators and to display our commitment to protecting what matters most: children and schools with local control. —Kjersti VanSlyke-Briggs, co-founder Oneonta Area for Public Education and Associate Professor of Secondary Education, SUNY Oneonta.
Oneonta Area for Public Education is an affiliate of the New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE). NYSAPE is coordinating demonstrations across the state. We encourage supporters of public education to gather on Thursday March 26, 2015 to join hands in a “Protect Our Schools” event. To find a list of participating schools and gathering times, visit http://www.nysape.org/protect-our-schools-campaign.html.
The concept is simple and the benefit huge: gather stakeholders at participating schools to join hands in a symbolic gesture of protection. The need to protect our schools has never been more urgent. Governor Cuomo continues to paint public schools and teachers in a negative light in an attempt to centralize power and strip away local control all while failing to provide adequate and fair funding. As we know, local schools are under threat due to excessive testing, teacher evaluations tied to test scores, lack of funding, charter school expansion, privatization, school closings, and state takeover of our schools are some of the many concerns shared by stakeholders.
Seeing stakeholders unite to literally circle their schools sends a strong and powerful message to Albany that community members support their public schools. Via invited media and through social media using the hashtag #protectourschools, we have the opportunity to change the conversation and put an end to the Governor’s damaging reform agenda. A noncontroversial demonstration such as this will be a much-needed positive outlet for all stakeholders in our schools’ communities.
The reason we (S-E/Community) feel it is important to participate in the “Protect Our Schools” campaign is we need, as parents, grandparents, teachers, and administrators, to raise our collective voices across NYS and let our representatives in Albany know that Governor Cuomo’s misguided educational agenda is unacceptable. If we do not speak out against these unfair education reforms that will de-stabilize local control of schools and fundamentally damage our public school system in NYS, public education as we know it, will cease to exist. —Sherburne-Earlville Teachers Association President Jennifer Moore.
If you are interested in involving your school, get started now using the resources at NYSAPE.org. You can download a flyer template that you can customize with your school and gathering time; letters you can send to your school administration and teachers association to get them involved; and a checklist to guide you every step of the way.