May 08, 2009
May 8, 2009
Hundreds of day care and Head Start employees – members of New York City District Council 1707 – marched this week with parents, children, public officials and other union members to protest proposed cuts to kindergarten and other youth programs.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) wants to eliminate kindergarten in city day care centers funded by the city’s Administration for Children's Services (ACS). The mayor contends his plan would save $15 million.
But any savings from such a move would be offset by other costs. Mabel Everett, president of Day Care Employees Local 205, explains:
“If these children are removed from day care centers, the city will spend millions more for busing and building modifications. The city didn’t factor those costs into the estimates. In the end, taxpayers won’t save $15 million. The proposal is likely to add even more debt to our deficit.”
In fact, an analysis by the New York Daily News shows that such plans actually will add $7 million to the city deficit.
In their march from Battery Park to City Hall Park, an estimated 2,500 AFSCME members and supporters made it clear they want thousands of low-income children to continue receiving care and education at more than 300 ACS-funded centers. Eliminating them, says DC 1707 Executive Dir. Ragland George, will cost jobs, stress parents, destabilize neighborhoods and force 3,500 five-year-olds into already overcrowded public schools.
“During a time of economic crisis, we should be doing all that we can to keep people working so we can keep our economy working. We should especially be helping lower-wage workers who are usually more affected by downturns in the economy.”
Learn more about the issue in these stories from WCBSTV.com (includes video coverage).
SAY NO! TO CUTS – Members of New York City’s DC 1707 rally protest proposed cuts in day care. Photo Credit: Gary Schoichet