ALBANY, N.Y. April 1, 2016 — New York State United Teachers said today the agreed-upon state education budget moves public education in the right direction and demonstrates that parents and educators — advocating together for what all students need — have the ear of elected leaders in Albany.
“While additional time is needed to examine the fine print of budget bills, it appears that parents and teachers, advocating together on behalf of students and public education, have won a robust state aid increase and new funding to expand pre-kindergarten; community schools and other essential programs,” said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. “We will continue to seek significantly more aid for the state’s neediest school districts and a greater investment in SUNY and CUNY, and we will demand that the charter industry and the wealthy extremists who support it be held accountable for serving all students equally. For teachers and public education, however, the tone is changing in Albany and that enables us to move forward with the wind at our backs.”
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said, “We appreciate the great work of the Legislature on behalf of public education.” He added that coalitions of parents, education stakeholders and community organizations once again defeated the Education Investment Tax Credit in the budget; reversed proposed cuts to SUNY hospitals; boosted aid to community colleges and won more than a half-billion dollars more for public schools than proposed in January.
“The state should modify the tax cap to ensure that communities can raise the funds they need to invest more in their own children. Imagine where we’d be this year without the tax cap if districts could have combined a roughly 6 percent state education increase with as much as $700 million in new local funding,” Pallotta said. He noted, “The zeroing out of the Gap Elimination Adjustment means the state can now concentrate on fully funding Foundation Aid and making good on its settlement in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case.”
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.