New York City Comptroller John Liu joined Leon M. Goldstein High School Principal Joseph Zaza, and 125 faculty members, parents and students last Monday to protest the ongoing budget slashes of the city’s public schools.
It was the latest in a series of rallies the school, located at 2001 Oriental Boulevard, has had over the past two years, since the city and state have sliced-and-diced from every nook and cranny of budgets. This rally came on the heels of the largest single-agency layoff since Mayor Bloomberg took office, in which 672 school aides, parent coordinators and family workers lost their jobs.
That meant more pain for our local schools, which are already suffering from staffing and programming cuts.
When we asked Victoria Sottile, Goldstein’s United Federation of Teachers Consultation Committee member, in a Q&A piece last year why a rally is important, she told us “the demonstration is important to raise awareness as to how seriously the budget cuts are affecting the quality of education we can provide to our students.” She told us about gaps in student schedules, the slashing of Advanced Placement programs and even basic science and math courses being eliminated because of staff shortages.
Last June, about 600 students staged an early morning walk-out in response to the budget cuts.