May 19, 2010

Budget approvals show New Yorkers want to protect education

Source: NYSUT Media Relations

Even in hard times, New Yorkers know the path forward is paved with good public schools.

Voters passed school budgets yesterday in approximately 92 percent of districts across the state.

According to a preliminary count by the state School Boards Association, voters in 621 school districts approved budgets, with 52 going down to defeat. Results from two districts were too close to call.

NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi applauded the results.

"We appreciate voters' steadfast support of schools, especially given the state's fiscal situation. The governor's proposed budget would cut essential services to students and, at the same time, unfairly burden local property taxpayers," he said.

NYSUT is now calling on the state Legislature to follow the lead of voters and support public schools.

"It's wrong for taxpayers to have to increasingly shoulder the responsibility that rests with the state. It is clear that voters want quality schools, and the state can and should reverse what would be devastating cuts to education," Iannuzzi said.

Lawmakers have yet to approve a state budget - or real school aid numbers. Districts statewide were forced to use the figures from the governor's budget proposal, which slashes $1.4 billion in aid to schools.

Districts where budgets failed include Mount Vernon, Port Jefferson and Susquehanna Valley in Broome County. For the second year, voters in Troy and Schenectady defeated their local spending plans.

When voters reject a school budget, districts may resubmit the same budget or a revised budget for the June 15 revote date; districts may also choose to adopt a contingency plan. Contingency budgets this year are capped a zero percent.

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