February 3, 2015
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—The United Federation of Teachers participated with a bevy of organizations outside Governor Cuomo’s offices on Monday despite the harsh winter to protest his budget on what’s being billed as Moral Mondays.
Numerous labor, faith-based and community organizations joined together to collectively criticize the governor’s budget for being too friendly to Wall Street and unfriendly to issues such as economic and racial justice, climate change and inequities in educational funding.
LeRoy Barr, the UFT’s Assistant Secretary, said it’s a moral outrage that the governor’s funding for education isn’t equal for all students in New York. In a video interview with LaborPress, Barr said there is a moral crisis in the state and the country.
“There are people here today who want a higher minimum wage and more affordable housing. We’re here because we want education to be fair for everyone. When you have funding that isn’t fair for all the students throughout the entire state, that’s a moral issue. When there are kids that aren’t getting the same opportunity as others, that’s a moral issue. We have to serve all the students throughout the state. We have a governor who has put out an education agenda that doesn’t begin to serve all the needs of students and that’s an issue for us,” said Barr.
He then looked directly into the camera to implore the Governor to change his education priorities, or else every Monday face protests.
“We will do this every Monday throughout this state and until we come together to solve these issues we will continue to face these issues. So, I stand here on behalf of the 200,000 people that the UFT represents and say Governor, we are expecting you to do what is right for the people of this state and we demand, not ask, we demand that you do what is right for all of the children of this state, not just some,” Barr said.