By April 1st, Governor Cuomo and the New York State Assembly and Senate will come to an agreement on New York’s $170 billion state budget.
This means we have just a few days left to tell our Senators and Assemblymembers that they need to fight harder than they ever to ensure New York invest in our children and families.
For many children in New York, there is too much at stake if our state leaders don’t invest in their future. Rochester City School District laid off over 100 educators in the middle of the school year due to a $60 million deficit. While Rochester deals with this crisis, New York State has yet to provide the $86 million it currently owes the district in Foundation — exactly the kind of funding that is used to pay teachers and staff salaries. Neither students nor their teachers caused the fiscal crisis in the district, but they are the ones to pay the price.
Rochester schools may be the first district forced to make drastic cuts, but if we don’t invest in our children in this year’s state budget, they won’t be the last. New York owes our public school $3.8 billion in Foundation Aid statewide. Our state leaders have not fulfilled the promise of universal pre-K for 4 year olds outside of New York City and child care is literally in crisis. Only 1 out 10 families can afford a child care program and only 1 out of 5 can access support in paying for the program. Only 1 out of 5 four-year-olds have access to a full day pre-K program outside of New York City.
Our children’s futures are on the line! Email your Assemblymember and Senator now to tell them that they must make sure the state budget funds child care, pre-K and Foundation Aid for public schools. New York needs to tax the ultra wealthy to invest in our children!
Now is the time to take action. With just weeks left to shape the state budget, our elected representatives need to hear from us that we demand equity for Black, Brown and low income children and their families. Write your Senator and Assemblymember now and tell them to fight for equity for New York’s students: for child care, for truly universal pre-K, and for fully funding Foundation Aid for our public schools.