The COVID-19 pandemic makes it increasingly likely that we are a matter of days, not weeks, away from New York State finalizing the budget.
This health crisis could lead to a state fiscal crisis. The last time New York faced a financial crisis, Governor Cuomo chose to balance the State budget on the backs of children — he cut $1 billion from public schools, while giving a tax cut to the ultra-rich. It took years to restore the education cuts, and the lasting damage continues to be felt in classrooms all over the state: counselors that were never rehired, programs that were never restored, a generation of students who lost out on years of educational opportunities that they will never get back.
We can’t let this happen again. We need leaders in the New York state Assembly to hold the line in budget negotiations to ensure we pass a budget that protects children, not billionaires.
Join us in calling on Assembly leadership to stand strong in budget negotiations. New York’s students and families are depending on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Assembly Deputy Speaker Cathy Nolan to ensure the state budget prioritizes fully funding our public schools.
The COVID 19 pandemic has made it clear that Black, Brown and low-income students across the state are vulnerable in a crisis. Underfunded high-need schools have been struggling to provide students with the basics, like soap, well before the first case of COVID-19 hit our state. Many schools lack a full time nurse on site to see students in order address their health needs. The glaring technology divide is more apparent than ever before. Wealthy districts have quickly adapted to online learning during their closures, while schools in low income communities know that online learning is not an option for many of their students.
Looking after the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities is the only way we will be able to overcome this crisis. Email Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Assembly Deputy Speaker Cathy Nolan now to tell them to protect children, not billionaires. The final budget must fully fund Foundation Aid.