Demand that Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature fully fund public education in the 2022 budget currently being drafted in Albany.
The Honorable Andrew Cuomo, Governor
The Honorable Andrea Stewart-Cousins, President Pro Tempore and Majority Leader
The Honorable Robert Ortt, Minority Leader
The Honorable Carl Heastie, Speaker of the Assembly
The Honorable William Barclay, Minority Leader
Members of the N.Y. State Senate
Members of the N.Y. State Assembly
We, the undersigned, composed of New York students, their parents, educators, and advocates for public schools in New York City, implore our elected representatives in Albany to use the 2022 budget to provide the necessary funding to meet the extraordinary demands that the pandemic has created for our education system. We also call on the Legislature to prevent the Governor from using federal aid to supplant state funding for education and restore the previous, inappropriate cuts made with the first two rounds of federal aid.
The most dire predictions of the economic effects of the pandemic, a $15 billion deficit for the next two years, were avoided thanks to the infusion of over $12 billion in aid from the American Rescue Plan and higher-than-expected tax revenues. Therefore, there are ample resources to address critical education funding needs:
Foundational Aid, the primary state funding for schools, remains below 60% and the required funding under the Campaign for Fiscal Equity ruling has never been achieved
Schools need to be given more resources in order to address two critical issues our learners are struggling with – mental health and learning loss
Too many learners remain in remote or hybrid learning situations and still lack the technology or broadband connections to make their learning meaningful
The budget process is the single best opportunity for you, as our elected representatives, to prevent the pandemic from having a profound impact on the mental health and skills development that influences our children’s later academic performance, long-term life outcomes, and the overall well-being of our communities.
We urge you to act by fully funding education and the interventions needed to protect our children and their futures.