You should know that on Wednesday, March 4th, for the second time, more than 10,000 Black and Hispanic children and their parents came to the State Capital to rally in favor of charter schools so they could receive a better education. There was a sea of red t-shirts and red wool caps with the logo DON’T STEAL POSSIBLE. It was an amazing and well organized event!
You should know that aside from Assemblyman Marcos Crespo from the South Bronx and Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez from El Barrio, I was one of the only three Hispanic elected officials (there was not one single Black elected official there) to receive and speak to those 10,000 children and their families, who traveled all the way from New York City to Albany wanting to see and to get support from their elected officials.
I have been one of the few minority elected officials who got to be part of the welcoming committee two times to greet and address these children and their parents searching for a better education for their children.
My dear reader, I would also like to share with you a few points to explain my strong position for charter schools:
You should know that the New York State School System is broken and that 800,000 children fail every year, and that the majority of them are Black and Hispanic. I want you to know that it is possible to fix the New York State School System that is broken and to save those 800,000 children. Why steal their possibility?
You should know that there are 178 failing schools in the New York State School System and that for the past ten years, more than 200,000 children have been attending those failing schools, and the majority of those children have been Black or Hispanic. I want you to know that by working together with the New York public school system and the charter school community, we don’t have to send our children to those 178 failing schools. Why steal their possibility?
You should know that right now there are 109,000 children attending failing schools in New York State with the knowledge of the Education Department, and that the majority of those children who are attending those failing schools are also Black and Hispanic. I want you to know that it is possible for those 109,000 children who are now attending failing schools to be attending good schools and getting a good education. Why steal their possibility?
You should know that 40 of the 178 failing schools in the State are located in Bronx County and that 9 of those schools are in the 32nd Senatorial District that I represent. I want you to know that with more charter schools, the children who now attend failing schools in my district could have a better chance for a good education. Why steal their possibility?
You should know that charter schools were created to give a better education to Black and Hispanic children who were being left out. I want you to know that a great majority of charter schools are located in Black and Hispanic communities, and that it is our Black and Hispanic children who are benefitting mostly from them. Why steal their possibility?
You should know that from Buffalo to the South Bronx and everywhere in between, and in every corner of the State, we are stealing possibilities from our children, preventing them from getting a better education.
I want you to know that it is time for our elected officials – especially our Black and Hispanic leaders – to stop preventing our Black and Hispanic children from the possibility of getting a better education. Why steal their possibility?
My dear reader, I want you to know that it is time for us to really make sure that no child should be trapped in any failing school. We must expand the opportunity for our children to attend charter schools. Why steal their possibility?
I am State Senator Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.
What You Should Know
By State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District