NYS teachers union objects to possible cuts in education funding

ALBANY — New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta released the following statement today regarding Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget proposal: “This tale of two budgets is stark and a clear message to Washington that New York needs its fair share in additional stimulus funding. We agree. But, as we’ve said since last year, a two-pronged approach to the state’s fiscal crisis that includes additional federal funding for public services and new state taxes on the ultrawealthy is a long-term imperative.

“It’s a positive signal to hear that the governor’s best case scenario budget would turn fair funding from Washington into significant resources for K-12 education, higher education and health care. However, under the ‘worst case scenario,’ using federal money while reducing the state’s share of education funding — rather than supplementing state funding — is reminiscent of the Gap Elimination Adjustment we fought for years to close. As a state, we can’t afford to view cuts of any kind to public schools and colleges, public health care, and other public services funded by state and local governments as a default option — especially when the billionaire class has seen its wealth grow as millions of New York families have struggled during this pandemic.

“We look forward to reviewing the executive budget legislation in detail and amplifying the voices of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers in education, higher education, human services and health care in Albany and Washington in the months ahead to fight for a budget that meets New Yorkers’ needs during this COVID crisis.”

New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.