Ron LeeJan 9, 2018, 12:47 pmJan 9, 2018, 1:05 pm

Students, parents head to Albany to demand education equality ahead of 2018 budget

Activists want teacher diversity, moratorium on charter schools and NY Dream Act, among others

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ROSLYN — A number of activists from Long Island will join others from across the state in Albany for a rally that seeks racial justice and economic equity in this year's budget for state education. The group says they are rallying for meaningful action and not just rhetoric. They are going to demand of the governor for things such as culturally relevant education, positive school climate, and increased teacher diversity. The groups will also demand a 5-year moratorium on new charter schools and a New York State Dream Act.

"I would definitely like to see a lot more Spanish-speaking help for the youth that's coming into Long Island ‘cause a lot of the community are non-English speaking," says Eric Martinez of Uniondale.

"When you have a teacher who knows first-hand what it is like to basically exist in a community as a person of color, they can relate to you in such a way that they learn how to encourage and bring out really out the best in you," says Adelphi University student Danielle McDougall.

With a deadline set for March 31 for the state budget, all of those activists are certainly hoping their efforts will pay off.

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