"NYSUT prepares legal action, calls on state leaders to stop cuts to schools"
In a media release from New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) released earlier this week, NYSUT calls on the Legislature and the governor to take immediate steps to stop the 20% reductions in aid for school districits and the union is prepared to take legal action against the state if they withold school funding later this month. Given the years of funding shortfalls for schools as well as the increased cost of operating schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, union leaders are concerned that these cuts would impact low-income districts and their students at disproportionate rates. A 20% budget cut to state education aid would impact every school district but given that some are less reliant on state aid, this is of particular concern to poorer school districts who are already struggling to serve their communities, "The poorest 10 percent of school districts receive some 80 percent of their funding from the state, while the richest 10 percent of districts receive only 10 percent of their funding from the state." In response to the impending budget cuts, many school districts are considering laying off teachers and staff. “We’ve already seen some districts make hasty decisions to slash their budgets in anticipation of a major state cut later this month,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “But this isn’t just about jobs. It’s about what’s left for students when the dust settles as we see the loss of teachers and paraprofessionals who serve vital roles. The state must stop this madness.”