Education for All

All people deserve access to high-quality public education, from prekindergarten to adult education. A strong public education system is critical to dismantling economic and racial inequality, strengthening the labor movement, and giving students the tools to build a more just and democratic society. 

At the same time, we recognize that classrooms can be contested spaces. They can be sites for emancipation and radical development, or sites for indoctrination into nationalist and individualist ideologies, and the production of compliant workers. They can even be places of open struggle — places where teachers and students fight together against the indignities of austerity in our schools and communities. 

Moreover, in our own city of New York, we have one of the most segregated school systems in the country. Our unequally and under-funded public school system perpetuates the systemic oppression of working-class people and people of color. Harsh disciplinary policies—applied disproportionately to students of color—and police in our schools feed the school-to-prison pipeline. Charter schools act as tools for privatizing education and weakening the power of unionized teachers. Our educators, from elementary school teachers to adjunct professors, work for low wages, long hours, and do so with insufficient resources. The repercussions of these conditions are felt for the rest of students’ lives. We recognize that teachers’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions. We fight for an education system that actively supports its workers, ends the reproduction of social inequalities, and fosters an environment for the transformation of society. 

Free, Quality Education for All

  • Guarantee free, quality public education for all, from prekindergarten through post-secondary education, including after-school and vocational programs.

  • Guarantee equitable, progressively distributed funding for New York public schools based on total collected property taxes and wealth taxes.

  • End the creation of new charter schools, ban the expansion of existing charter schools, and transform existing charter schools into public schools.

  • Guarantee free universal higher education that abolishes tuition, room and board, academic resource costs, and fees in the CUNY and SUNY systems and provides financial support to students from low-income households and marginalized communities that is not conditional based on means-testing, immigration status, or in-state residence following graduation.

  • Abolish the Boards of Trustees for CUNY and SUNY.

  • Pass Maintenance of Effort legislation for the CUNY and SUNY systems to guarantee full funding year after year.

  • Revoke tax exempt and non-profit status for private institutions that consider family legacy or donations in admissions decisions. 

Racial Justice in Our Schools

  • Implement and fully fund programs for desegregation and integration for all public schools.

  • End Specialized High School Admissions testing to desegregate New York’s specialized high schools—and all schools.

  • End punitive measures against schools serving high-need low-income communities of color. 

  • Abolish out-of-school suspensions longer than one day, and replace suspension with evidence-based, supportive, educational, and restorative justice programs.

  • Guarantee access to adequate, quality mental health resources, counselors, therapists and nurses, including by capping staff to student ratios to ensure reasonable workloads. 

  • End the use of police and school safety officers in schools.

Labor Rights for Education Workers

  • Amend New York State’s Taylor Law to establish the right to collective action and strikes for teachers and all public sector workers.

  • Allocate funding to provide adequate resources, more training, and higher wages for education workers, including meeting the demands of $7,000 per course and increased salaries for all CUNY faculty and staff.

  • Establish a mandatory maximum class size of 20 students in primary and secondary schools. 

  • End teacher evaluations on the basis of standardized testing.

  • Guarantee tenure, due process rights, pensions, and an immediate end to the arbitrary denial of tenure to probationary teachers.

  • Require neutrality by charter school operators to protect workers’ rights to organize.

Radical Pedagogy, Curricula and Governance

  • Develop a program and funding for holistic assessments as alternatives to high-stakes standardized testing. 

  • Allocate funding for curricula relevant to the communities of the school and oriented towards racial and social justice, working-class and labor history, LGBTQ+ studies, multilingual education and immersion, and vocational training.

  • End mayoral control over school governance and establish community school boards directly elected by the public to bring our schools under popular and democratic control.