School districts are owed billions in foundation aid, according to education advocates. And even though the state is facing a $6 billion dollar budget deficit, school districts remained hopeful.
Yet, the Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal for education aid fell far short of expectations.
In a statement sent by the New York State United Teachers Union President Andy Pallotta, "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."
NYSUT and education advocates are calling for a $2.1 billion dollar increase this year in the state budget. However, Cuomo is proposing an increase in school aid of $826 million.
Cuomo says 80 percent of this increase in aid would go to high-need districts. But school districts are facing other challenges as well.
Since inflation has been so low, school districts will only be able to raise local tax levies by 1.81 percent.
"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," Pallotta said.
NYSUT will be visiting schools across the state over the next month as part of the union's "Fund Our Future" bus tour to highlight school districts in desperate need for more funding.