ALBANY, N.Y. May 19, 2021 — In yet another strong display of support for public schools, 99 percent of school budgets are on track to win approval by voters, according to a preliminary analysis by New York State United Teachers.
“Voters in communities across New York once again have shown that funding public schools at the local level is a top priority for their families,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “After more than a year of crisis, it’s clearer than ever before that public schools are the backbones of our communities, delivering not only an education to our students, but providing social-emotional learning, mental health services, meals and so much more. Investing in public education is investing in the future of our state. Clearly, voters agree.”
NYSUT reviewed 501 school budget votes and found that 496 passed, a 99 percent passage rate. Just five were defeated. The analysis includes seven budgets approved by voters earlier this month.
This year marks yet another strong showing of support for public schools at the ballot box. More than 95 percent of school budgets have passed annually since 2013.
School districts devised their budgets following historic funding commitments, from both the state and federal governments, aimed at bolstering public education after more than a year of pandemic-related disruptions. Even before the pandemic, NYSUT advocated for significant new investments to address critical underlying needs that schools have dealt with for years. These include increased mental health needs, cuts to AP and elective courses, and a lack of supports for English language learners. The union believes it’s critical that districts use their budgets to immediately begin addressing those underlying needs, while bolstering safe, healthy schools in the year ahead, as we continue battling COVID-19.
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.