Governor Cuomo has chosen to hold state education aid hostage in a political game of chicken with Congress, and New York’s students are the ones paying the price.
Last week the New York State budget office informed school districts statewide that it was cutting 20 percent of the state aid to school. Statewide, New York’s schools just lost $5 billion in state aid. For New York State to intentionally hold back 20 percent of state funding for public education at any time is unconscionable; to do so now, weeks before schools are set to reopen amidst a pandemic, is a direct attack on the safety of students, educators and our communities.
Email your State Senator and Assemblymember now! The New York State legislature must return to Albany to pass legislation to raise revenue to protect our schools from this catastrophic loss of school aid as they prepare to reopen.
There is no longer a hypothetical: the State’s decision to cut school aid is forcing Rochester City School District — which has one of the highest child poverty rates in the nation — to cut $128 million from its budget. Districts across the state are now facing the same impossible calculations, at a time when they were already struggling to find the resources to meet students’ needs through a combination of remote, in-person and blended learning.
The legislature has handed over unprecedented power to Governor Cuomo, relinquishing their responsibility to the communities they represent. But it’s time for the New York State Assembly and Senate to get back to Albany and pass legislation to raise revenue to protect our schools.
Send your State Senator and Assemblymember an email now telling them that New York’s students can’t wait: we must prioritize children and their future by protecting our public schools.