Photo via Citizen Action of NY
Taking a leaf from the Moral Monday protests in North Carolina, education organizers in New York drew hundreds of protesters to the state capitol in Albany this week for their own Moral Monday rally. They even brought in Rev. William Barber, the minister leading the North Carolina movement, to give a fiery speech on the NY Capitol's Million Dollar Staircase demanding full, fair funding for the state's public schools.
As part of the event, the Alliance for Quality Education released a new report, "Record Setting Inequality," which illustrates NY's growing gap in funding between the state's poorest and richest school districts. Despite a 2006 order from the state supreme court, the NY legislature has failed to implement a fair funding formula for the state. Schools in poor districts now spend on average $8,733 less per student than schools in wealthy districts, the largest funding gap in New York State history.
From the report:
"While there are many factors that contribute to unequal outcomes—particularly the contrasting impacts of poverty and wealth on every aspect of children’s lives—educational resources are the essential ingredients schools provide to close the gap in educational outcomes. These resources include pre-kindergarten, smaller class sizes, a rigorous curriculum including art, music and physical education as well as core academic subjects and advanced courses, mentoring and supports to strengthen teachers, programs for English language learners, and social, emotional and health supports to meet the diverse needs of students."