When lawmakers voted on the state budget on April 1, they handed unprecedented power to Governor Cuomo, giving him three opportunities throughout the year to alter the state budget with minimal input from legislators. Incredibly, just a few short weeks later, the first of those three deadlines — April 30 —is already upon us.
With tax deadlines pushed back until July, New York State is no wiser today than we were on April 1 about revenues, costs, or federal relief relating to the pandemic, but Governor Cuomo is nevertheless threatening to cut 20-50% in state funding to our schools on April 30.
That means we have just days to stop massive cuts to education. Our State Legislators cannot stand by quietly as the Governor threatens oppressive cuts to public schools. The State Legislature must act, and they must act now. Email your representatives in Albany now and demand that they get back to their job of legislating. They can tax the wealthiest New Yorkers to protect our public school children.
Governor Cuomo’s assertion that New York has no money is blatantly false: New York is home to some of the wealthiest people in the world. But our state also has some of the worst inequality in the nation, including our spending on public education. Not only can our State Legislators raise revenue here in New York — they have a moral obligation to do so, to the people they serve.
Systemic racism and chronic underinvestment from the State has threatened Black, Brown and low-income New Yorkers’ lives and opportunities for decades, but the pandemic has made this reality impossible to ignore. We are seeing the consequences of our failure to ensure education, health care, childcare, a living wage, sick leave and so many other human rights to every New Yorker.
Cuts to education will mean our most vulnerable students are at risk of falling even further behind. Governor Cuomo’s solution to this crisis is to take even more from those who have the least to give — Black, Brown and low-income children and families — so that the ultra-rich can keep getting richer. We have had enough of Cuomo’s moral bankruptcy. When the legislature convenes, the first item on their agenda must be taxing the wealthy to invest in our schools and communities.
We cannot let up the pressure on our elected officials. Email your legislators now.