March 24, 2014

Pickets target Senate budget

Source: NYSUT Communications

Dozens of NYSUT members joined other public education advocates on Friday to picket the offices of targeted state senators who are supporting a "bad-news budget" proposal that rewards its big-moneyed benefactors at the expense of New York's students.

The pickets marched and rallied at the offices of senators John Flanagan (Smithtown), Jack Martins (Garden City Park), Martin Golden (Brooklyn), David Carlucci (Nanuet), Elizabeth Little (Glens Falls) and Mark Grisanti (Buffalo). Those senators, and others, are pressing for a 2014-15 state budget that:

  • shortchanges public education by allocating $161 million less for K-12 schools than the Assembly's proposed budget;
  • neglects the state's public higher-education system by ignoring the critical need for major investment in SUNY, CUNY and our community colleges; and
  • seeks new funding for corporate-supported charter schools and forces co-locations in traditional public facilities;
  • diverts millions of state dollars in so-called "education tax credits" to corporations and individuals who donate to religious and private schools; and
  • compounds the devastating impact that the state's property tax cap is having on local schools.

The Senate has proposed $1.4 billion for a so-called tax freeze that would favor the rich. The freeze would be for school districts and local governments that stay within the 2-percent tax levy cap. That plan would significantly worsen the fiscal constraints with which districts are already grappling, since the state's tax-cap law severely hampers their ability to raise adequate revenues locally.

To learn more, go to www.nysut.org/freeze.

The grassroots picketing coincided with NYSUT's launch of a $1.5 million multi-media ad campaign decrying the Senate proposal as well as the governor's support for the tax freeze.

Take action at NYSUT's online Member Action Center: mac.nysut.org.