ALBANY, N.Y. May 18, 2016 — Voters across the state delivered a resounding endorsement of the direction of New York's public education system, approving 99 percent of school budgets Tuesday, according to a preliminary estimate by New York State United Teachers today.
"We are extremely pleased with the vote of confidence in our public schools by New Yorkers in every region of our state," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "The near-unanimous approval of school budgets reflects the trust, appreciation and respect that parents and community members have for the teachers and the education professionals who work tirelessly each and every day to ensure our students receive a quality education."
Of the 505 school-budget votes reviewed by NYSUT, 498 budgets passed while seven went down to defeat. Voters rejected budgets in West Valley, Canaseraga, Elwood, Highland, Tuckahoe, Waverly and Jasper-Troupsburg.
The estimated 99 percent pass rate for school budgets continues the recent history of strong support for public schools by voters. Last year, voters also approved 99 percent of school budgets. Pass rates in 2014 and 2013 were 98.2 percent and 95.3 percent, respectively.
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said that while the union was thrilled with Tuesday's results, he noted that NYSUT will continue to fight for the rights of local taxpayers to determine how much they wish to invest in the education of their children and in their community's public schools
"A robust state aid increase helped school districts maintain or expand programs for students while keeping tax increases to a minimum," Pallotta said. "While it helped to again ensure a strong pass rate for school budgets, it does not change the fact that the property tax cap undemocratically limits the ability of parents and community members to invest more in their students and public schools."
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.