Statement of New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert Schneider on Governor Cuomo's State of the State Address

FOR RELEASE: January 11, 2021

The governor’s delivery of a State of the State message is a welcome step toward normality as we begin a new year and a new legislative session that feels anything but normal. 

We look forward to hearing more about Gov. Cuomo’s proposals for public education in 2021, but we are heartened by his commitment to achieving educational equity in New York. The coronavirus pandemic has furthered the digital divide and exacerbated existing inequities. The governor’s proposed investment to make broadband more affordable is a critical step.  With proper funding, schools may be able to provide laptops and tablets for students, but if students don’t have reliable access to the Internet, these devices are of little value. 

It will be important, however, that any plan for bringing more support and opportunities to the state’s most vulnerable students does not drain resources from other students, who also need and deserve our support and encouragement to pursue bright futures. 

The governor is right to emphasize the federal role in helping New York students recover and thrive in the wake of this pandemic and the economic hardships it has provoked.  NYSSBA stands ready to work with our state leaders to ensure that all of our schools receive adequate financial support for their recovery, for the sake of all of our students.

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