FOR RELEASE: December 9, 2020
We are encouraged by the governor’s comments today in response to a question from the news media related to NYSSBA’s expressed concerns that New York needs a second round of federal funding to spare our schools from drastic aid cuts.
NYSSBA’s school board members have advocated strongly for federal funding assistance and flexibility. To date, board members have sent more than 9,000 letters to their Congressional representatives emphasizing the consequences for students if New York does not receive federal help to prevent a 20 percent school aid shortfall in this school year.
Our students and our educators are resilient, but they should not have to endure any more educational disruptions than they already have because of this pandemic. Existing educational inequities already are at risk of growing because of uneven access to remote learning and the curtailing of important school programs and activities.
We also appreciate that Gov. Cuomo and Budget Director Mujica are working with the State Education Department to ensure that school districts will be reimbursed for the costs of using school buses and drivers for important student services, such as meal delivery.
To date, school districts and BOCES have seen $300 million in aid for specific programs deferred. New York has been able to avoid any further withholding while we await additional federal support. Unfortunately, even the possibility of the state withholding funding affects the ability of school districts to plan for educational programs and services, as they must always be prepared to make painful cuts.