ALBANY, NY (March 23, 2018) — Today on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show, Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is facing a Democratic primary against school funding champion Cynthia Nixon, publicly argued against increasing funding for high need schools statewide.
“Governor Andrew Cuomo is wrong when he says no one is having a conversation about educational equity in New York. Every year Governor Cuomo has been in office, Black and Brown parents and parents in high needs communities have joined with AQE to demand educational equity, and every year he has ignored them. The spending gap between the wealthiest and poorest schools in the state has grown 24 percent due to Governor Cuomo’s policies, a record high,” said Billy Easton, executive director, Alliance for Quality Education.
“Of the $4.2 billion in Foundation Aid that Andrew Cuomo denies to New York’s school, 74 percent is owed to Black and Brown and low income students according to data available through the State Education Department. Governor Cuomo refuses to provide this funding, and then attempts to pass the blame for funding inequity onto local districts instead.
“One fact Governor Cuomo got right is that we have some wealthy schools that spend over $33,000 per pupil, for instance Byram Hills where his daughter went to school. But poor school districts spend much, much less which is why there are fourth graders in classrooms of 30 or more students, and school districts where one guidance counselor is serving as many as 730 students. Governor Cuomo needs to stop with the excuses and the posturing and start listening to parents — he should either get behind fairly and fully funding our public schools or he should get out of the way of our students.