ALBANY, N.Y. March 5, 2019 — Hundreds of New York State United Teachers activists will descend on the state Capitol Tuesday with a simple message about the state budget proposal: It’s just not enough.
Educators and professional staff from school districts, SUNY and CUNY campuses, and community colleges will meet with lawmakers to advocate for a $2.2 billion increase in school aid, additional funding for public colleges, wage justice for CUNY adjunct faculty and the restoration of an $89.7 million state subsidy for SUNY hospitals, which serve our state’s neediest patients.
Buses with hundreds of advocates will begin arriving at the Madison Avenue entrance to the Empire State Plaza in Albany at 8 a.m. Tuesday. Advocates will be available to speak with members of the media throughout the morning and early afternoon.
“Public education, pre-K through post graduate, remains the best investment our state can make,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “By investing what is needed, we would be investing in a better New York for all.”
NYSUT and its partners on the Educational Conference Board have called 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.
When it comes to public higher education, NYSUT is seeking additional operating aid for campuses statewide. Increased aid would help our four-year colleges avoid having to reduce course offerings, cut student services, or continue to over-rely on underpaid adjunct faculty. At community colleges, funding that leads to the state meeting its statutory obligation to pay 40 percent of operating costs for these campuses would help lift the unfair financial burden placed on students.
By restoring the subsidy for SUNY hospitals, which would be slashed entirely under the executive budget proposal, the state would ensure that scores of New Yorkers, including many uninsured people, would get the same level of quality care they currently receive at these important medical centers.
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.