Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Glosses Over the Needs of Black, Brown and Low-Income Students

ALBANY, NY (January 3, 2018) — In response to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State, the Alliance for Quality Education released the following statement:

“Governor Cuomo’s State of the State opened with a commitment to fight racial inequity, but his education policies are part of the problem when it comes to systemic racism in education,” said Jasmine Gripper, legislative director of the Alliance for Quality Education. “He has consistently neglected and underfunded schools in Black, Brown and poor communities. We heard nothing today that addresses educational racism; we cannot have racial justice without education justice. 

“It’s been over a decade since the highest court in New York ruled that New York State was underfunding its schools, but it has been far longer that schools serving Black, Brown and low income students have been underfunded. We need Governor Cuomo to stand up for what is right, and actively work to dismantle racial inequities in public education.

“Governor Cuomo said we ‘must address education funding inequities and dedicate more of our state school aid to poor districts,’ but for seven years he has done everything possible to resist fair funding for schools in poorer communities. In fact, last year he tried to repeal the fairest funding formula that New York has, the Foundation Aid formula. The way to show he supports educational equity with more than fine words in a long speech is to fund Foundation Aid. In his two hour speech he made education and New York’s 2.6 million public school children a minor footnote.

“In this time of crisis, we need more than the talk of being progressive; we need bold leadership and action. It’s time to stop balancing the state budget on the backs of Black, Brown and poor children. It’s time to fund the $4.2 billion New York owes our public schools.”