ALBANY, N.Y. March 12, 2007 - New York State United Teachers today reacted to budget proposals released by the state Assembly and Senate.
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said, "The historic commitment to public education made by the governor is reflected in the Assembly's budget plan that will move us strongly in the right direction. The Assembly budget not only enhances public education funding statewide, but it also targets additional funds to areas most in need. It wisely avoids dangerous detours which would undercut public education, such as tuition tax deductions for private school tuition and unchecked growth of charter schools. We had expected the Senate to recognize that the charter school law is in serious need of reform, and that a voucher-like tax deduction is bad public policy."
NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan B. Lubin added, "We are extremely disappointed and alarmed that the Senate put forward a budget that sends the wrong signal by failing to enact needed charter reforms and by including a proposal to redirect public funds to private interests through a tuition tax deduction. There is still time to address these concerns and build a budget that fulfills the promise of serving all children through an investment in public education, and we will work hard with the Assembly, the Senate and the governor to achieve that goal."
"This is why the Assembly is called the people's Legislature," said Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City. "They deserve an apple from the teachers and cheers from parents because they recognized what children need to excel," including support for reducing class size.
NYSUT represents 575,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.