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School protest planned outside governor’s Buffalo inauguration

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WBFO News photo by Karen DeWitt
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The state's largest teachers union says it is outraged at Gov. Cuomo's veto of a bill on the Common Core. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley says a protest is planned for Thursday in Buffalo.

"Our students are being tested to death with no real benefits," says Todd Hathaway of Orchard Park, a political action coordinator with New York State United Teachers. 

NYSUT said the governor reneged on signing a bill to place a two-year moratorium on using Common Core testing for teacher evaluations.

"The governor reneged on an agreement. With this veto, the governor has decided that teachers are the only ones who should be held accountable for the state's failed implementation of the Common Core. We can't understand why he is refusing to sign his own bill. What has changed? Could it be that the governor is doing the bidding of billionaire hedge fund managers, many of whom, like Paul Tudor Jones, don’t even live in New York state?  This governor has to decide whether he’s going to support the goals of students, parents and teachers or those of billionaires who want to destroy public education in order to privatize it and profit from it," reads a statement issued by NYSUT.

Hathaway tells WBFO News he believes the governor only made the promise for his reelection bid.

"I personally think it was," said Hathaway. "I think it was a way for him to con the public into saying that he really supports our students and parents and teachers and school districts, when in reality, he did not."

Thursday afternoon when Cuomo and Lt. Governor-elect Kathy Hochul appear at the Buffalo History Museum for a second inauguration ceremony, the event will be flanked by a 'Save Our Public Schools' protest outside. The rally cry will call for an end to "overtesting." Protestors will begin their rally at 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday parents, students and community members gathered outside the Executive Mansion on Eagle Street in downtown Albany to protest what they say are "attacks on public education and teachers" and to call on the governor to "listen to all stakeholders before bringing forth another wave of misguided educational policies designed to dismantle public education."  

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Credit WBFO News photo by Karen DeWitt
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Pro-charter protestors outside the protest in Albany.

Pro-Cuomo supporters countered the protest. They carried signs that stated "Thank you Governor" and "Great job Cuomo."  The protestors say they support more charter schools for public education. 

 

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