Contact:  Soneni B. Smith

Thursday, April 21, 2005


AQE Deputy Director



212-523-0186; mobile 917-517-9393

Press Release

Parents & Kids Deliver Petitions and Pennies Collected

At 100 NYC Schools to Mayor Bloomberg

Saying We’re Willing to Do Our Share and Asking Mayor to Do His

New York City, NY— A group of parents and children representing all five boroughs joined with the Alliance for Quality Education at City Hall today to deliver petitions and pennies that were collected in front of schools over the last few weeks. By delivering petitions and pennies to the Mayor, they said they were showing their willingness to dig into their pockets to do their share and were asking the Mayor to do his share.

“It's time to stand up and put up for our kids," said Maria Dapontes Dougherty, New York City AQE Board Member and Queens parent leader. “The City Council has found the perfect solution for investing in our children by extending the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Surcharge on high-income earners and using that money to reduce class size citywide.  Our Mayor has asked us to evaluate him based on his performance for improving schools.  His support for this proposal will be a clear sign that he's heading in the right direction."

Because the PIT is scheduled to be phased out this year, advocates called on the Mayor to voice strong support in his upcoming Executive Budget for the extension of the surcharge on high-income individuals—a proposal recently released by the City Council and endorsed by the Alliance for Quality Education. They also urged Mayor Bloomberg to fight for the large amount of money NYC’s schools are entitled to receive from the State due to the CFE litigation.  

The City Council Speaker proposed to invest $186 million in 2005, and roughly $400 million in the following two years, in improving city schools. The additional spending would reduce class size in over 350 elementary schools and more than 130 middle schools, and provide money to build more classrooms in schools that are currently too crowded to reduce class size.  The increased City investment in schools would give State leaders little excuse for continuing to ignore the order by the State’s highest court to invest billions more in NYC schools, by demonstrating that NYC is willing to do its share. The funding would be available by continuing the personal income tax surcharge currently in effect for New Yorkers making more than $500,000 per year.

The Alliance for Quality Education is a statewide coalition of 230 organizations

dedicated to ensuring every child’s right to a quality education.