New York students demonstrate against closing schools
“We want our schools to be fixed and not closed.”
"Closing schools are just going to make us do worse than we are doing now.”
It’s spring vacation for these High school students, yet they came on Tuesday to demonstrate in front of the New York county court house. Their schools are in danger of being shut down next year and they want their opinions to be heard.
[Talha Ranman, Student, “Urban Youth Collaborative”]:
“When the school closes they just add many students to other schools and it feels like in a few years they are going to say ‘you’re failing and we’re going to close you,’ causing more chaos.”
The last day for the New York Department of education (DOE) to apply for federal school improvement grants is April 30th. Those funds will determine whether a school will be closed or not. Now the DOE has to choose which ones of the struggling schools will get the funds or else shut down.
According to the "Urban Youth Collaborative", last year the city applied to receive grants for 11 high schools while it was entitled to receive funds for up to 17 high schools. And according to the demonstrators, funds were not fully used for the benefits of the public. The students, parents and teachers, are demanding to take part in the decisions that will affect their lives.
[Rodrick Daley, High school Teacher, “Coalition for Educational Justice”]:
"They never had a true voice in what’s going on, they’ll come up, they’ll talk and the Mayor and the DOE will turn a deaf ear."
"We need a complete involvement of the community, complete involvement of all of the stake holders, it means the parents, the teachers and most importantly we need to have the students."
This demonstration is the latest of several other protests calling on the DOE to change its policy and to let students and teachers be involved in the decision making process.
The demonstrators warn that without proper treatment, many students who need help might end up dropping out of school.
NTD News, New York