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ALBANY, N.Y. — With less than a week to go before the state budget is due, New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta released the following statement on the budget process today:
“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vital role that our schools play in our communities. They provide meals, they provide care for the needs of children, they provide mental health services — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“We traveled the state earlier this year to hear directly from the educators, students, and parents who rely on public schools about the critical funding needs they are facing, needs that haven’t changed as we’ve begun weathering the effects of this pandemic. From Long Island to Buffalo, their message was simple: Fund our future. The same goes for our public colleges and universities that provide a pathway to the middle class for so many New Yorkers.
“The economic crisis brought on by this pandemic has already left millions unemployed and has caused issues with the state’s budget. But let’s be clear about something: Cuts to education in any form will hurt the students and families who need the supports our public schools and colleges provide now more than ever. The inequality that already existed in our education system has only been exacerbated by this crisis. Cutting funding now will widen the gap even further.
“Our public education students and families shouldn’t be the ones to foot the bill for the crisis. New York’s ultrawealthy can afford to step up and pay their fair share to help us preserve the high-quality education our dedicated educators work so hard to provide.”
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.