On Monday, a group of parents and teachers filed a lawsuit against NYC’s Department of Education, as a show of anger and discontent against the recent budget cuts for schools.
The lawsuit states that the city flouted state law by passing a budget that included hundreds of millions in cuts without approval from the DOE’s oversight board first. “The explicit language of State law requires that these egregious budget cuts be halted and reconsidered by the Mayor and the Council because the law was not followed,” said Laura Barbieri, special counsel for Advocates for Justice representing the plaintiffs.
The lawsuit asks a judge to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the cuts for the next school year from going into effect, and to void the City Council’s budget vote so that the legislative body can reconsider based on the subsequent testimony of more than 70 teachers, parents, and organizers.
“We need to use every possible measure to restore the cuts,” said Kaliris Salas-Ramirez, a PEP member appointed to represent Manhattan by the borough president. “If protests don’t work, if town halls and meetings with the mayor and chancellor don’t work, if City Council asking to re-negotiate the budget don’t work, then we have to use the law to protect our community.”
Apart from teachers, the plaintiffs also include two parents, in Sunset Park and in Harlem, whose schools are slated to lose certain programs and increase class sizes as a result of the cuts.