RSCC is calling on the CUNY DREAMers, Youth Leadership Council and all progressive and revolutionary groups to fight to make Governor Cuomo add the NYS DREAM Act into the state budget! The ruling class does not care about the best interests of undocumented youth. The youth and students of NYC must unite and fight to make sure the DREAM Act is included in the state budget!
Last Monday, March 23, Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York State, took out both the NY DREAM and the education tax credit bundle from the state budget. The DREAM Act is a bill that will open the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to undocumented students in the state. This is a progressive bill that opens up educational opportunities to people who currently don’t have access to it. The other bill, the education tax credit bill, wants to create a tax credit for people who donate money to education, including organizations that provide vouchers for students to attend private schools. This is a reactionary bill which is part of Cuomo’s wider plans to defund public education, evident in his recent education budget proposals.
Cuomo never intended to have the NY DREAM Act in the budget and he really does not care about the future of undocumented youth. In fact, Cuomo does not even care about the education of the millions of people who rely on the public school system. In his recent budget proposal, Cuomo seeks to contribute to the privatization of education by raising the charter number cap, and withholding vital education funds until the legislature implements his education reforms.
We must see the initial inclusion of the DREAM Act with the tax credit not as a benevolent move by Cuomo to help pass the DREAM Act, but as a way to pit the interests of the undocumented youth against the interests of the millions of youth who attend public schools. This is just a way bourgeois politicians use the people to advance their own goals. Now that the education tax credit advances through the legislature, he no longer needs it in the bundle with the DREAM Act.
In exchange for the DREAM Act, some politicians are now proposing a DREAM Fund. The DREAM Fund is nothing but an empty fund where rich people can donate to help support the education of undocumented youth. Unlike the DREAM Act, the DREAM Fund is not funded with taxes and the state is not mandated to allocated money to it. Undocumented youth know this is not the bill we want, but just a spineless piece of legislation that does not really solve the problem of undocumented youth being institutionally locked out of education.
We as the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee have political differences with both the CUNY DREAMers and the Youth Leadership Council on the previous position of the DREAM act being bundled with the education tax credit because it puts the educational future of over a million public K-12 students at risk in terms of long term funding. But a new opportunity has arisen to unite the youth and students of the state and the city to pass the DREAM Act as the education tax credit is no longer being considered but also proving that Cuomo has no interest in helping undocumented student achieve their dream of attaining a degree of higher education.
We should understand the legislature and the governor as part of the oppressive capitalists. This state does not care for the millions of working class people who live in New York but serves as a way for the ruling class, the bourgeoisie, to debate what the best way to exploit us is. It is the job of the politicians to do the bidding of those who finance them, usually corporate interests that do not care about the poor, oppressed nationality, and working class people of New York. This is why, we cannot rely on this capitalist state to serve our interests. Instead, we should use reforms such as the DREAM Act as ways to train our people to fight this state for their liberation.
This is not just a fight to open the Tuition Assistance Program to undocumented students in the state. Not connecting our issues helps our enemy divide us. We must look at this as a movement to secure the education of the millions of youth in this state who deserve to go to schools that are not overpopulated, that have appropriate after school programs, and that pay their teachers fairly. We must fight for schools that are liberated from the interest of the capitalist state and truly function as centers of education, and not indoctrination to serve the bourgeois class.
This is the time that we unite and fight to get the DREAM act passed in the budget. RSCC is calling on the main undocumented youth organizations, the CUNY DREAMers and the Youth Leadership Council, to create a united front with other progressive groups to get the DREAM Act passed NOW!
Put the DREAM Act back in the budget without the tax credit!
Full funding for public education!
Undocumented and unafraid! Struggle is the way!
Undocumented and unafraid! Struggle is the way!