UPDATE: Speak out now about midyear cuts
Gov. Paterson has called for more than $1 billion in devastating midyear cuts to education and health care. The governor's proposal would trim K-12 school aid by $686 million in the current school year. Higher education and health care would also be subject to damaging and disruptive cuts under the governor’s proposal. Use NYSUT's free online fax service to contact your elected state officials now and urge them to oppose these job-killing cuts.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ALBANY, N.Y. October 15, 2009 – New York State United Teachers today called on the Legislature to reject the governor's proposed $686 million midyear cut in school aid and devastating cuts to public colleges, saying axing additional money from already lean education budgets – with classes well under way - would disrupt teaching and learning and irreparably harm student achievement, especially for those students caught in the achievement gap.
"The Legislature must reject these devastating cuts. Midyear education cuts cause chaos and disrupt the learning process for students, their schools and their colleges," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "All students will suffer, but this proposal harms, most of all, the state's neediest students who are already at the greatest risk and require the greatest additional support."
NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan B. Lubin noted the state has already broken its promise to provide all students with a sound, basic education, falling $1.2 billion short of the court-ordered funding increases required by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case in the current state budget.
"Now, after school districts have tightened their belts, eliminated the jobs of thousands of teachers and school staff, and carefully and strategically trimmed their budgets to make up for the state's failure to adequately fund schools, this proposal seeks nearly $700 million dollars more in program and personnel cuts for the current year," Lubin said. "It will cause pain on top of pain, and it is absolutely unacceptable."
Lubin said NYSUT would work vigorously with the governor, legislative leaders and the state's congressional delegation on alternatives, while pressing lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly to also reject $90 million in previously announced cuts to the State University of New York; a proposed $53 million hit to CUNY; a proposed $34 million in reduced aid to community colleges, and proposed reductions to libraries, other education and health programs.
"A strong public education system – linking good schools to our community colleges and public university systems – will be the driving force behind New York's economic resurgence," Lubin said. "It's particularly ironic and painful that, after President Obama highlighted the role of community colleges in our nation's economic recovery, these cuts would deny community colleges the funding they need."
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 600,000 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.