February 12, 2019

Educators rally at the Capitol to demand funding increases for higher education and special needs schools

Source:  NYSUT Media Relations
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ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 12, 2019 — Educators from around the state descended on the state Capitol Tuesday to urge legislators to address critical education needs in this year’s state budget. Faculty from New York’s public colleges and universities, as well as educators from schools serving students with the most intensive educational needs, demanded the same thing: for lawmakers to support the critical missions of these institutions by fully funding their budgets.

As NYSUT previously highlighted in legislative testimony, increased state investment at four-year colleges would help stave off difficult decisions about whether to eliminate programs, reduce student services or continue to over-rely on adjunct faculty who have long earned unfair salaries. Community colleges also need significant investment to ensure the state is meeting its statutory obligation to pay 40 percent of operating costs for these campuses.

“Our SUNY and CUNY four-year and two-year colleges play a critical role in offering students a path to the middle class,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “Investing in a quality, affordable higher education system is one of the most important things we can do to ensure a brighter future for New York.”

Faculty members from schools serving children with the most intensive educational needs also were in Albany Tuesday to press their case for more support in the state budget. For 4201, 4410, 853 and Special Act schools, NYSUT is advocating for funding percentage increases that are on par with traditional public schools, as well as regular, predictable increases in their tuition rates.

“We as a state must not shortchange our students with the greatest needs,” Pallotta said. “These children deserve the same level of support that we provide to our traditional public school students.”

NYSUT supports the $30 million capital fund proposed for 4201 schools in the executive budget and is urging the Legislature to increase that amount and include 4410, 853 and Special Act 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.

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