ALBANY — New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta released the following statement today regarding the governor’s executive budget proposal:

“When it comes to fully funding public education, every year we hear the same thing at the start of the budget process: We have a huge deficit, so don’t ask for more money. But what we’re really asking for is for New York to keep its promises. Educational inequality is the most pressing issue of our time because the state is billions of dollars behind on Foundation Aid funding for roughly 400 school districts statewide.

“The time has come for New York to fund our future. That means paying school districts what they are owed, investing in SUNY and CUNY two-year and four-year colleges, investing in SUNY hospitals and closing the TAP gap.

“And let’s be clear that there isn’t a lack of money in New York to do this. Billionaires and the ultra millionaires can afford to pay their fair share toward essential state services. It’s time New York finally made them do just that.”

As the state budget takes shape, NYSUT is visiting schools across the state as part of the union’s Fund Our Future bus tour to draw attention to the severe impact a lack of state funding has had on schools statewide. A full schedule of tour dates and stops can be found here.

NYSUT, as a member of the New York State Educational Conference Board, is calling for a $2.1 billion increase in state aid in the 2020-21 state budget, which includes the first installment of a three-year phase-in of the more than $3.4 billion in Foundation Aid owed to more than 400 school districts around New York.

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.