About 2,000 charter school supporters converged on Albany yesterday for Charter School Advocacy Day 2011. With banners and chants, impassioned speeches and music, participants called for equitable funding and celebrated the growing movement that is providing much-needed educational options for public school families across New York.
State Senator John L. Sampson, Leader of the Senate Democratic Conference, took the stage to greet the crowd and reflect on the importance of quality public education. Senator Martin Golden, a Republican, appeared later with a rousing call for education reform.
In a time of statewide budget challenges, charter supporters insisted on fair treatmentóno special privileges, no extra cutsóand took time to recognize dedicated charter school teachers who work longer school days and school years to deliver educational results. The same topics were discussed in the afternoon as groups from individual charter schools fanned out for meetings with their elected representatives.
In a year after major changes to the state charter law, another strong Advocacy Day also highlighted the staying power of charter schools as a part of the political conversation. NY1 reporter Lindsay Christ captured the scene:
The Charter Center wishes to thank every parent, teacher, student, school leader, and volunteer who helped make Advocacy Day 2011 a success. We’ll post more highlights from the event in the coming days.
See Charter School Advocacy Day photos on facebook.