The New York State budget deadline has come and gone, but negotiations in Albany are continuing. Two critical issues hang in the balance: Raise the Age and funding for public schools.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and your state Senator need to hear from you TODAY! Call Gov. Cuomo at 518-474-8390 and your Senator at 518-455-2800.
New York and North Carolina are the only states in the nation that automatically charge 16 and 17-year-olds as adults. Raise the Age would end this and charge minors in juvenile court. This is important because youths incarcerated in adult facilities are more likely to suffer physical and emotional abuse. They are also 36 times more likely to commit suicide. The best chance to pass Raise the Age is in this year's budget.
We are also hearing concerning things about education funding. The governor and State Senate appear to be pushing more funding for charter schools - which serve a tiny percentage of New York students - while refusing to fully fund public schools. This is unacceptable at a time when high-needs public schools are underfunded to the tune of $4.3 billion.
Here's a sample script:
Hi, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I live in [YOUR TOWN]. I am calling to urge the Senator/Gov. Cuomo to include Raise the Age in the budget and to fully fund public schools - not divert tax dollars to charter schools. Sixteen and 17-year-olds do not belong in adult prisons, and every child in New York deserves a fully resourced public school. Thank you.
If you're in Albany today, join us for an Emergency Moral Monday for Public Schools at noon in the War Room of the Capitol.
Either way, I hope you'll take a few minutes to call the governor and your Senator.
Thanks for speaking up for New York's kids!