Parents and Community Members Come Together to Show Their Gratitude for Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte's Unwavering Stance Against Governor Cuomo's Education Tax Credit

Dozens of community members show support for Bichotte following brutal public attacks against her

Brooklyn – Today parents and community members rallied to show their support of major public education ally, Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte. Bichotte has continuously stood firm again Governor Cuomo's "Parental Choice in Education Act." This tax giveaway to his wealthy donors would divert funds from public schools into the hands of millionaire investors.

Despite major backlash from private school supporters of the bill, the assembly member has remained resolved in her stance that the bill does not support all students and therefore should not be supported.

For weeks Bichotte has been on the receiving end of an overwhelmingly negative campaign to criticize her decision in not supporting the tax credit bill. Supporters of the bill have orchestrated false and misleading district mailings and ads and led protests outside of the assemblywoman's district office in an attempt to sway her pro-public school position.

"I am a strong believer in quality education, for both public and private school students; all students deserve the best," said Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte. "However Governor Cuomo's tax credit bill does not fulfill that. Instead it is a bill that feeds the mouths of wealthy investors and corporations, diverting funds that could have been put forth towards the deficit owed to public schools set forth by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. On top of that, low-income and middle class families of both public and private schools would be excluded. I cannot and will not stand for furthering the disparity that already exists in our school system."

Parents, community organizers, and several social justice groups are in agreement with these sentiments. Most feel as though Governor Cuomo's tax credit is yet another attack on the public education system in an effort to support the furthering of its privatization. In these efforts minority and impoverished communities would be most harshly affected.

"Governor Cuomo is pushing his agenda of political favors to the wealthy investors that have continuously backed him and his policies. The big supporters of this bill that are pressuring assembly members to pass it are clearly more concerned with the tax break than they are with equitable and fair funding. Otherwise we would all be in agreement that low income and minority district schools that are owed billions of dollars deserve all the money they are owed, none of which should be diverted to wealthy campaign donors," said Billy Easton, Executive Director of Alliance for Quality Education.

"Governor Cuomo's tax credit is a scam for taxpayers. The so called 'Education Investment Credit' it's just another way for the Governor to funnel funds from our public schools into the hands of his hedge fund friends," said New York Communities for Change Executive Director, Jonathan Westin. "We are proud of AM Bichotte for standing in support of the needs of students in her district."

"Parents and students really need someone like Assembly Member Bichotte, because too often members fold under the pressure," said Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director of Alliance for Quality Education. "This issue is extremely important because it would divert so much funding that is genuinely owed to our district schools, to support wealthy investors."

"We applaud Assemblywomen Bichotte for standing up for all children in her district. The tax credit that is being pushed by Governor Cuomo is misguided because it will continue to divest funding and resources from our public schools in order to support the privatization of education. We're happy to recognize her efforts against this cause and support her position to vote against the tax credit," said Rogelia Garcia parent leader of Make the Road New York.

"For more than 200 years the State and City of New York have been at the forefront of the movement for excellence in public education. Now, for more than a generation, millions of children and families in New York have witnessed and been subjected to the deliberate and systematic underfunding and demise of that same system of public education, precisely at a time in our history when we as a dynamic civil society can least afford it," said Dr. Raymond Rufen-Blanchette, Executive Chairman of The Clergy Campaign for Social and Economic Justice. "We cannot allow those with questionable agenda's to divide us. We must stand as one New York, morally compelled to put forward a progressive plan to fully fund public education in our City and State of New York. The future of our City, the future of our State, the future of the world that we, as civil society, say that we want to live in depends upon it."

"Governor Cuomo's tax credit is only funneling funding from the majority of students in public schools, into the hands of wealthy investors. We are so glad that AM Bichotte has not only recognized this but stood firm in support of New York school students and their needs," said Bill Lipton, NYS Director of Working Families Party

"It's unsettling to know that an elected official who is simply standing on principle and what she believes is in the best interest of her district would be subject to such political ugliness. Our organization fights for low- and moderate income parents, no matter what school their children attend. Cuomo's bill, however, is part of a broadside attack on public education and low-income parents. We'll stand by anybody with the guts to refute this agenda," Mark Winston-Griffith, Executive Director of Brooklyn Movement Center, said.