ALBANY, N.Y. (March 27, 2020) — The public education advocacy organization Alliance for Quality Education released the following statement:
“While Governor Cuomo is filling news cycles with his response to the COVID-19 crisis, he is preparing a state budget that would devastate educational opportunities for the children of New York. When it comes to our children and their education, Governor Cuomo has a heart of stone. Budgets are a reflection of our priorities: Whether it’s your household budget or the $175 billion New York State budget, we spend our resources on the things we believe to be most important. The truth is that Governor Cuomo is advocating for making cuts to education because he does not think that educating Black, Brown and low income children should be a priority to New York State,” said Jasmine Gripper, Executive Director, Alliance for Quality Education.
“But budgets also are more than the dollars that make them up. Education funding isn’t a piggy bank you can just break into any time you need extra cash. Education funding is an investment in children and their potential. New York State has a constitutional obligation to provide all children with a sound, basic education, but Governor Cuomo has failed to meet this bare minimum standard year after year. He consistently chooses to ignore the educational needs of our most vulnerable children by refusing to invest in the state’s own education funding formula, Foundation Aid. New York schools are currently owed $3.8 billion in Foundation Aid. The majority of this funding is owed to districts with the highest populations of Black, Brown and immigrant students.
“Instead of sacrificing our children’s education, Governor Cuomo could choose to raise taxes on New York’s ultra rich millionaires and billionaires, generating billions of dollars in new revenue for our schools. New York has more billionaires than any other place in the world. The combined wealth of New York’s 112 billionaires is $525 billion.
“This is not a hard choice for the Governor or any politician to make. Protect children or billionaires? The choice seems obvious to any moral individual. Our children deserve a Governor who cares about the education of every child in every ZIP code. Instead of thinking of how to cut funding from schools, Governor Cuomo should be making a long term plan to raise the investments in education for our most high need school districts.”