ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 6, 2019 — New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta said today that despite fiscal challenges, increased aid to education in the 2019-20 state budget is needed not only to maintain current levels of academic services and programs, but also to provide many needed enhancements for school districts across the state.
In legislative testimony, Pallotta said NYSUT, along with partners on the New York State Educational Conference Board, is calling for a $2.2 billion increase in education aid, including $1.3 billion in Foundation Aid, $409 million in expense-based reimbursements and $500 million in targeted funding to strengthen school safety, provide mental health services for students and expand access for college and career pathways.
“Our public educators work hard every day to ensure New York’s children are prepared for success over the course of their lives,” Pallotta said. “It is important to continue investments in our education system now to create better outcomes for millions of New Yorkers in the future.”
NYSUT is advocating for full funding of the Foundation Aid formula within three years and updates to the formula to more accurately address varying student needs and regional differences in education costs.
Pallotta urged lawmakers to reject the governor’s proposal to require school districts to re-allocate Foundation Aid to specific schools within the district. Such a proposal would take control of school funds away from the local community and does not address the lack of adequate funding many districts face.
When it comes to the state property tax cap, NYSUT is seeking modifications that would, among other things, exempt BOCES capital projects and school safety costs from the cap and remove the super-majority requirement.
Pallotta’s full testimony is available here.
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.