Utica Student Calls Out Governor Cuomo- ‘Respect Public Education’ [AUDIO] [VIDEO]
A student at Thomas R. Proctor High School in Utica has written an open letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo in regards to his recent budget which holds back millions of dollars in aid to New York Schools.
Trinh Truong, a senior at Proctor High, spoke with WIBX's First News with Keeler in the
Morning recently and said she wrote the letter to defend public education. Truong talked about the fact that she came to Utica from Viet Nam when she was just four years old. She arrived here with her mother and spoke no English at the time. Today, she speaks fluently and is positioned to graduate with honors from Proctor in June and is awaiting the final decision on which school she'll attend in the fall; Georgetown, Brown or Yale.
"I've fought tooth and nail for every opportunity that came my way and if it didn't exist, I created it," said Truong. When she was younger, while her friends were playing video games, she was at home with her grandfather going over flash cards until she hated them.
Truong credits her teachers for much of her success; but, says it hasn't been easy because of Governor Cuomo's severe cuts in aid.
These education cuts have already cost my local school district enough, and yes—money does matter when it comes to education. There are over 34 students in a typical class in my high school. Sometimes, students have to stand because there aren’t desks for them to sit in. The same thing is occurring at the elementary level. Elementary teachers have even changed the seating every week so that each student has a chance to see the board. The issue of class size is just going to be exacerbated by the imminent teacher cuts. -from Truong's Letter to the Governor
Truong said she invites the Governor to come to her school and see what life is really like in public schools and see how hard the teachers work to make sure every student is successful. She cautions, however, that the cuts in funding from New York State are taking their toll on teachers and the education system.
Governor Cuomo, it’s time for you give credit where credit’s due. How did you get the education that you needed to become governor? From teachers. Come to my school. Come see how we’re dealing with a system that sets us up to fail. And please—respect public education. It works.
This isn't Truong's first time as an advocate for teachers and eduction. When she was a freshman, she organized a rally in support of teachers four years ago. She's also a member of the Student Common Council which works in conjunction with the City of Utica Common Council.
When asked by Bill Keeler what she wanted to be when she was finished with college, she didn't miss a beat.
"I want to be Secretary of State," she said.
Our opinion: keep an eye on this young lady. She might just reach her goal.
Listen to her radio interview with the Keeler Show here:
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