"Govzilla conveniently forgets about things like CFE and school funding obligations," said NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta, "but he will never forget his billionaire friends who donate to his campaigns."
Those friends are the only people who would benefit from Gov. Cuomo's deceitfully named Parental Choice in Education Act.
So here comes govzilla - kicking through buildings, tearing down power lines and anything in his path - "which means we've got another big mess coming our way," Pallotta said at a Monday news conference.
Earlier that morning, NYSUT launched a major radio ad campaign and web video ad to protest Gov. Cuomo's education tax credit proposal.
NYSUT and other education advocates, religious and labor organizations, as well as parent groups, have joined forces to block this egregious tax giveaway in exchange for political donations.
Disguised as a way to provide needy children with a private school education, the proposed tax credit is actually designed to reimburse wealthy donors who want to contribute large sums of money to private schools. Under the act, state taxpayers will reimburse 75 percent of the donor's contributions. In the first year alone, the act will cost the state $150 million.
Not coincidentally, the relatively small pool of wealthy candidates for this tax credit includes the largest donors to Gov. Cuomo.
"Despite its new name, the governor's education tax credit scheme is essentially a voucher program designed to reward the hedge fund billionaires who contribute to his campaign," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "The fact is, the governor's misguided plan would only aggravate the challenges that confront our poorest districts by siphoning critical funding away from students and schools that are most in need."
Pallotta said: "The state's priority should not be giving tax breaks to the wealthy, but rather investing in its public schools to ensure all students have the resources needed to succeed. Given that one-third of our school districts in 2015-2016 will be operating with less aid than six years ago, our focus must be on adequately funding public education - not rewarding wealthy campaign contributors at the expense of children in need."
"This tax credit is just another scheme to reward billionaires. It gives them the power to send money to their favorite private schools, and takes a big chunk out of their tax bill," said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers. "At the same time, it drains money from public schools. Supporters can use all the smoke and mirrors that they want but, in the end, this is scam that will hurt public school students."
The coalition's three dozen organizations will launch a social media campaign and release more information on the tax break in the forthcoming weeks. The groups have also released a video that underscores how the act will further burden taxpayers and debilitate public schools.
AUDIO AND VIDEO
Please WATCH & SHARE our new video RIGHT NOW! Under the Governor’s latest backdoor voucher tax credit scheme, hundreds of millions of dollars that should go to public schools and services would be siphoned off…and that money would go to fund a shady private school tax credit that would benefit the privileged elite!
Posted by NYSUT Action Center on Monday, May 18, 2015