Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The people of Paterson tell the school board: “Reject this budget!” |

The people of Paterson tell the school board: “Reject this budget!” |:

The people of Paterson tell the school board: “Reject this budget!”

Rev. John Givens tells the Paterson board: "Reject this budget!"
Rev. John Givens tells the Paterson board: “Reject this budget!”

The fear was obvious at Monday night’s school board meeting in Paterson. And sadness. Anger. Frustration. Parents tired of having  children taught by substitutes, upset because sports and band and art and music are gone. Teachers and other school employees worried about their jobs and their inability to deal with out-of-control class sizes. Clergy members disheartened by knowing they are losing children to the streets. But, in Paterson, many are fighting back against budget cuts, raising their voices against the brutalizing effect of unfunded schools.
“What does it look like in Paterson?”cried Nicky Baker, an instructional aide. “It looks like a graveyard.”
“The state of New Jersey is doing to us what they think they can do to us and get away with,” said Benjie Wimberly, a Democratic assemblyman who opened the long meeting Tuesday night. “We should not let that happen–even if we have to shut down the Statehouse.”
Corey Teague, a former school board member, said what many–not just in Paterson, but in every major urban district in New Jersey–believe:
“Gov. Christie wants to destroy public education. ”
He called for a boycott and he used this logic: “Until the schools are fully funded, the children are not getting the quality education they deserve anyway.”
John McEntee, president of Paterson Education Association, says teachers and parents are united against budget cuts
John McEntee, president of Paterson Education Association, says teachers and parents are united against budget cuts
Nearly 500 people jammed into the Paterson school board headquarters–and scores more were turned away because there was no room. A year ago, the board eliminated 300 positions and many employees their jobs and instructional programs were crippled.
Now the same board is about to make additional cuts–the budget is short $45 million–and more jobs and programs are on the chopping block.
It’s happening elsewhere, of course, because Christie and the Legislature are The people of Paterson tell the school board: “Reject this budget!” |:

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