from wcbs tv news
Parents Rally Against NYC Kindergarten Class Cuts, Reporting Marcia Kramermembers.
NEW YORK (CBS) ―
Hundreds of angry parents and children march down Broadway outside City Hall in Manhattan, rallying against cuts in kindergarten classes.
Angry parents have a bone to pick with City Hall.
Rallies were held Wednesday against huge cuts in kindergarten classes. Those cuts, they say, will jeopardize the future of hundreds of city children.
It's not the kind of thing a mayor seeking re-election wants to see -- two demonstrations in the same day by parents whose kids can't get into kindergarten and day care.
They were at City Hall on Wednesday afternoon and evening, telling Mayor Michael Bloomberg they are furious that hundreds of their children are on long waiting lists to get into kindergarten.
"You say no to Mayor Bloomberg and his budget cuts. Can you say no cuts? No cuts, no cuts, no cuts," came the chat from the demonstrators.
And they were at City Hall Wednesday morning, thousands of outraged parents and their kids questioning Bloomberg's plans to cut day care slots and to deal with a shortage of kindergarten spots by moving pre-k classes out of public schools.
"Mayor Bloomberg, he better get it right because this don't make no sense how they cutting child care of all things," parent Precious Wiggins said. "Our kids are our future."
"We bust our butts for our money and you know we have children we need to keep them in day care," added Jayne Solano of Williamsburg. "He doesn't have small children like we do. He has nothing to worry about."
The mayor's political opponents tried to make hay on the issue.
"This is a situation where the mayor is putting money before children," Comptroller William Thompson said.
"In a Tony Avella administration you'll never have this problem," Tony Avella said.
After a speech in Atlanta the mayor said parents clamoring for public school spots is a sign that he had improved city education.
"There was a story in the paper today that was about as far away from the mark as anything I've read recently," Bloomberg said. "They complained about a couple a hundred kids not being able to get in to the schools they wanted to get into. I can tell you how to fix that. Just lower the quality of the schools. That's where we came from. Isn't it wonderful that kids want to get into schools?"
But Mercedes Graham of Washington Heights didn't want to hear that rationale.
"Where are the funds? Where are they being spent?" Graham wondered.
Added Leyla Baretto of Hells Kitchen: "Please save our babies. If we don't have child care we cannot work. The economy is bad enough. We're not responsible for the economy and our children are not responsible and our children deserve to be taken care of."
There were a lot of mayoral allies who spoke against the city proposal Wednesday, including borough presidents Scott Stringer and Helen Marshall and lots of council