ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 26, 2015 - New York State United Teachers today issued the following response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "report" about struggling schools:
"Midway through a week in which thousands of parents and community members have packed school auditoriums to denounce the governor's failed education agenda - and to enthusiastically cheer their public schools and their teachers - we're not surprised at this latest attack by our thin-skinned governor. Instead of truly supporting teachers and providing the right investments and tools they need to help all children, the governor is doing the bidding of his billionaire hedge fund friends who bankrolled his last campaign," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee.
"The governor can't handle the truth," Magee added. "The public is supporting teachers in this fight because it sees them doing heroic work in schools that serve New York's poorest and most vulnerable children. It knows that teachers and support staff provide hats and coats to protect children from the bite of winter; nutritious breakfasts for children who otherwise might go hungry; and classrooms that are safe and nurturing sanctuaries from the sometimes dangerous neighborhoods in which many students live. They do it because they are professionals and because they care, and they do it without the full support of the state."
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta added, "New York state has over and over again reneged on the promises it made in settling the Campaign for Fiscal Equity suit. Not only does the state 'owe' its public schools more than $5 billion, inequality has grown to record levels under this governor's leadership. The governor says government has done nothing. He's wrong. Inequality in how public schools are funded has reached record levels since this governor took office. The spending gap between rich and poor schools — those which the governor is attacking — went from $8,024 per pupil to $8,733 per pupil in just the first two years of Cuomo's term."
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.