ALBANY — A $14.5 billion cut to education is not sitting well with the New York State United Teachers.
NYSUT issued a statement blasting the cuts, saying the cuts are aimed at balancing the state budget and could cost students.
NYSUT denounced plans to cut funding for school districts and public higher education in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. As public schools, colleges and universities prepare for the start of a new school year, the state’s most recent financial plan includes the withholding of funds in order to balance the budget. In response to a projected $14.5 billion budget shortfall, school districts were notified that any funding tied to a statutory due date will be reduced by at least 20 percent. These cuts could gut programs that students depend on and result in layoffs around the state.
“We know that however schools and colleges open this year, it will require many additional expenses. Without funding to cover the massive costs of PPE, barriers, cleaning supplies and more, local school districts and campuses will not be able to meet the goal of safely reopening schools for all,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “Everyone wants our schools and colleges to reopen safely, but it must be done in a way that helps ensure the coronavirus does not spread or infect educators, students or staff.”
“The last thing New York should be doing right now is cutting education funding. If the Federal government fails to provide those resources, New York lawmakers need to take action by taxing the ultrawealthy and using rainy day funds and borrowing authorities to provide our schools the resources they need to reopen safely.”