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January 26, 2022

NYSUT testimony: State budget brings opportunity to envision new future for public education

Source:  NYSUT Media Relations
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ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 26, 2022 — New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta will testify today at a joint legislative budget hearing on K-12 education that with the state’s finances in a strong position, the time is now for the governor and lawmakers to deliver the funding and legislation needed to support public schools as the center of every community.

In his testimony, Pallotta will share with legislators perspectives from NYSUT’s Future Forward Task Force, made up of education professionals from across the state who have identified some of the greatest challenges facing students, educators and families. Their recommendations for how to address those challenges include a number of state funding requests and policy changes Pallotta will detail. That includes the need for more community schools, requirements that every school be staffed with at least one school psychologist, counselor, social worker and nurse, and a return to the joy of learning by repealing receivership and removing the punitive consequences of the over-emphasis on standardized tests.

“Returning to ‘normal’ isn’t good enough for our students,” Pallotta said. “Now is the time to redefine public education as a system that truly supports every child and ensures they have the tools to create a brighter future for our nation and our state. Because when students thrive, we all thrive.”

NYSUT’s full written testimony can be found here: www.nysut.cc/testimonyk12.

NYSUT’s Future Forward report is available at www.futureforwardny.org.

Pallotta’s testimony also will delve into the need to recognize the contributions of education professionals in the past two years and ensure they have the supports they need to provide a high-quality education for students. Recommendations include backing programs that provide prospective teachers — particularly prospective teachers of color — with collegiate and early-career support, and restoring critical funding to state Teacher Centers, which provide professional development opportunities for all educators.

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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