Well Funded Leftists Pose as Child Advocates to Oppose Education Spending Cuts

Tell me, do these guys look like parents concerned that their kids’ educations are at stake? They look more like 60’s radical holdovers to me.

This photo is from a Syracuse Post Standard story about “education advocates” protesting expected cuts to education spending in New York. Mind you, no specific cuts have been identified, so this is just a preemptive fight. I hate to see what they’re going to look like if there really are necessary cuts to education spending.

More than 50 supporters of the Syracuse school district gathered at McKinley-Brighton Elementary School on Syracuse’s South Side as part of a statewide effort to prevent cuts for education funding in the 2011-12 state budget.

The Alliance for Quality Educationand Citizen Action of New York organized the simultaneous events in Syracuse and four other big cities around the state. The groups are expecting Gov. Andrew Cuomo to propose education cuts when he presents his budget Feb. 1.

The Post Standard identified the men in the photo as Jerry Lotierzo and Bill Spreter of Baldwinsville. The paper didn’t mention that Lotierzo is the co-chairman of Peace Action of New York, a leftist who recently praised Wikileaks! And Spreter is a retired teacher, no doubt wanting to hold on to his sweet pension.

The article did point out that “The Alliance for Quality Education describes itself as a coalition of more than 230 organizations that advocates for high quality education. Citizen Action of New York State calls itself a grassroots organization whose issues include education, health care, public financing of election campaigns, racial justice and a more progressive tax system.” My, isn’t that a bland description?

I did a wee bit of digging and found that one of the “organizers” of the Alliance for Quality Education is Shana Marks Odinga. This woman is part of a coalition called “One New York” made up of the usual leftist suspects, including the SEIU, ACORN and the United Federation of Teachers.

CBS News was a bit more honest in their reporting of this group, noting it had teamed up with the unions. [Emphasis mine.]

A new, well-financed partnership plying both fundamentals of democracy and modern high-stakes lobbying plans to bring Albany’s fight over public school aid into New Yorkers’ homes.

[…]

“This is a different approach to politics,” said Billy Easton of AQE. “This is based on the idea that all politics is local and the best way we can influence the outcome here in Albany is what we do on the ground in people’s districts, and how successful we are in engaging communities in what’s happening,” Easton told The Associated Press.

NYSUT is providing AQE with $425,000 for use over four months to pay for staff in several counties statewide, many represented by potentially vulnerable senators. The funding will pay for rallies, local news events, phone banks to build pressure on Albany, mailings and door-to-door campaigns. It aims to mobilize clergy, parents, teachers and community leaders around their schools.

Seven more full-time organizers will operate from new offices, most of which correspond with Senate districts of five freshmen Republicans: Sens. Patty Ritchie, Lee Zeldin, Jack Martins, Greg Ball and Mark Grisanti. The slim GOP majority has been supportive of Cuomo’s broad fiscal plans and any loss of Republican votes could defeat Cuomo’s cuts.

So, is this really about education, or is it about the continued funding of special interests, the least of which are our children? Sadly, the children in Syracuse City Schools are being left out in the cold, despite all of the “help” they’ve gotten from these leftist groups.

Exit note: The Post Standard failed to identify who finances the AQE or that any of the protesters may have been paid organizers. I found out all of the above information on these people in about five minutes, and will probably make about a dollar from this post. Imagine if the Post Standard people, who I assume get paid, bothered doing their jobs?