ALBANY, N.Y. (January 5, 2022) — In response to Governor Hochul’s State of the State address today, the public education advocacy organization Alliance for Quality Education released the following statement:
“Governor Hochul’s acknowledgement of many challenges students and schools are facing, with proposed solutions for tackling them, is a heartening change of tone from the executive office. The investments she detailed for public schools and education are crucially important for New York’s communities and future. But her proposals today fall short of what is needed to address the crisis in child care and adequately support families,” said Jasmine Gripper, Executive Director, Alliance for Quality Education.
“We applaud Governor Hochul for reaffirming her commitment to school funding equity and the full funding of the Foundation Aid formula. Fully funding public schools is essential to addressing the long-term academic, social and mental health impacts that the pandemic has had on children, especially for the Black, brown and low-income children, whose schools were the most under-resourced prior to COVID and whose communities were hardest hit by the pandemic.
“The mental health grants and pilot programs to create a positive school climate are key to providing the much needed support for children, and a long-overdue step on disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. We need to be sure that investments in students’ mental health and wellbeing are sufficient to meet the growing need.
“On child care, however, we are disappointed to see that the Governor’s proposals, though a minor step in the right direction, are very far from what New York’s families need. While it is important that Governor Hochul acknowledges the crisis in child care, New York needs to be proactive in supporting families who are in desperate need of support and access to quality and affordable childcare. Families who have been on waiting lists for 2-3 years to get a spot in a child care facility cannot be told they must continue to wait. We’ve seen the dysfunction in Washington, New York State has the resources to act now. Governor Hochul needs to step in and make a robust investment in expanding childcare. After touring the state and seeing the vast need, we know that helping only 100,000 families is not enough to make a dent in the childcare deserts that exist across the state.
“New York’s families need a bold investment of $5 billion in child care. Families need access to a universal system and providers and teachers need to be paid for the service they provide.”