May 18, 2022

Educators make their voices heard in school board elections and help to pass 99 percent of school budgets

Source:  NYSUT Media Relations
public schools unite us

ALBANY, N.Y. May 18, 2022 — Educators and their unions across the state made their voices heard in school board races on Tuesday, helping elect 295 candidates in districts statewide, according to a New York State United Teachers analysis of election results.

Of those that teachers and school staff supported through local endorsements and get out the vote efforts, 60 NYSUT members were elected to school boards in every corner of the state. A number went through the statewide union’s Pipeline Project, a training program for union and community members that helps prepare candidates to run for office at all levels.

“Under the banner Public Schools Unite Us, we saw a wave of pro-public education school board members elected Tuesday who we know will prioritize students at every board meeting,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “We’re proud to see how many educators stepped up this year to support candidates or to run for office themselves. They know that their teaching conditions are their students’ learning conditions. Having strong boards of education that focus on what unites us instead of what divides us is essential to creating environments in which students, educators and families can collaborate to put public schools at the center of their communities.”

More than 1,600 volunteers helped get out the vote this year, making more than 62,000 phone calls to their neighbors and knocking on 5,600 doors in their communities in support of both school board candidates and strong school budgets.

In addition to their success helping elect new school board members and re-elect incumbents, NYSUT’s preliminary analysis of school budget votes showed that 99 percent of budgets statewide were on track to win approval.

The union reviewed 570 school budget votes and found that 563 passed, a 99 percent passage rate. Just seven were defeated.

Well-funded public schools that have the resources necessary for student success continue to be strongly supported by their communities. More than 95 percent of school budgets have passed annually since 2013.

Strong local resources for education are a critical component of properly funding school districts. The state budget approved in April augments local support for education, delivering historic resources and continuing the promise to fully fund Foundation Aid. NYSUT continues to support district investments in building up more community school programs that provide wrap-around services for students, hiring mental health professionals and nurses for every school building, lowering class sizes and providing professional learning to keep educators and school staff on the cutting edge.

Those priorities are part of NYSUT’s Future Forward agenda. More information on Future Forward can be found here:

“When students thrive, we all thrive, and communities across the state have recognized that once again at the voting booth this year,” Pallotta said. “There are still so many needs that must be addressed in public schools. With strong local budgets and leadership in place, districts can get to work helping students unlock their full potential.”

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.