NYS Education leaders react to latest stimulus agreement, ask for continued state aid

New York State


ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — New York State Education leaders are reacting to the federal COVID stimulus agreement.

New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta released statements in response to the federal COVID emergency relief package, and how it will impact K-12 schools and colleges in New York State.

In his statement, President Pallotta urged for additional financial support for New York schools and colleges, stating that billions of dollars designated for K-12 schools should not impact state aid.

NYSUT President Andy Pallotta stated the following.

It is welcome news that this relief package would bring sorely needed support for New York schools and colleges, and we thank Sen. Schumer and the rest of the delegation for fighting hard for New York to receive significant funding. We agree with interim state Education Commissioner Betty Rosa and the Board of Regents that the billions earmarked for our K–12 schools should be used to supplement state aid and to keep aid payments to school districts flowing in full.

To be sure, this COVID relief package represents one step on the road to economic recovery. We’ll be fighting alongside the New York delegation for additional federal assistance, specifically for state and local governments, in early 2021. Here in Albany, we also continue to support asking the ultrawealthy to pay their fair share in state taxes in the upcoming legislative session. This two-pronged approach in the new year is essential for preventing devastating cuts and restoring funding to public schools and colleges that students and families have relied on during this pandemic.”

— New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta

As referred to in Pallotta’s statement, New York State Education Department Chancellor T. Andrew Brown and Interim Commissioner Betty A. Rosa and the Board of Regents, urged for the stimulus to “supplement, not supplant state aid funds.”

The group released the following statements in regards to the latest stimulus package.

On behalf of New York’s students, teachers and school administrators, we thank our Congressional delegation for including much needed resources for education and broadband availability in the federal economic stimulus package. As we look ahead to how these funds will be distributed, we cannot lose sight of the fact that throughout the pandemic our educators redefined what it means to be a hero and the critical role our schools play in their communities.

As we did in our 2021-22 State Aid Proposal, we are once again calling for state operating aid for schools to remain level with 2019-20 funding levels and that any new federal dollars be used to supplement not supplant state aid funds. Our schools have undertaken enormous costs to safely educate New York’s children during the pandemic and new federal funding should be used to help offset these additional costs. Further, to ensure equitable access to resources, we also ask that these federal funds have no impact on 2021-22 tax cap calculations and are distributed progressively to assist those districts that rely most on state aid.

Finally, now that we have a clear picture of what federal funds will be available, we ask that districts be provided with all state aid funding that has been withheld and that no further state aid payments are withheld moving forward.

— Statement From Vice Chancellor T. Andrew Brown, Interim Commissioner Betty A. Rosa and the Board of Regents, New York State Education Department

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