StudentsFirstNY Parent Advocates Call for Better School Options as Legislative Session Begins

(Albany, NY) Parent advocates from StudentsFirstNY, a leading education reform organization, came to Albany today to call attention to the need for better school options. With the 2016 legislative session just getting underway, parent advocates who live in low-income communities across New York City and have children who attend both district and charter schools wanted to make sure their voices were heard.

“As the legislative session kicks off, we want lawmakers to know that parents fighting for better public school options will be a regular presence this year,” said StudentsFirstNY Senior Director of Organizing Tenicka Boyd. “Parents from low-income communities really care about education and want their voices heard.” 

“Right now, I can’t count on my son getting a quality education in his local public school and it shouldn’t be that way,” said Patrick Cabiness, public school parent in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. “I want lawmakers to know that I shouldn’t be stuck with no options and no way of improving his education now.”  

“I’m here today to say that parents in my community want more high quality school choices,” said Niferteriah Jones, a parent from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. “We want our zoned public schools to get better and we want lots of school options to choose from.”

“The zoned public schools in Jamaica, Queens are not serving the needs of my community,” said Crystal Lee-McJunkin a traditional public school parent in Jamaica, Queens. “We didn’t get into any charter schools and there has to be urgency BOTH around improving district schools and in providing parents with more options.”

“My daughter and I commute two hours every day because it’s the only way I can guarantee her a quality education,” said StudentsFirstNY organizer and public school parent Petula Hanley. “I want legislators to consider my story when they make decisions this year.”

Michael Nitzky

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