Statement of NYSSBA Executive Director Robert Schneider on the second installment of the 2021 State of the State

FOR RELEASE: January 12, 2021

In today’s installment of his 2021 State of the State Address, Governor Cuomo once again highlighted some key issues of concern for students and schools.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the wide digital divide in our state, as schools have relied heavily on remote education. Broadband access is a critical tool for learning. Though Internet access continues to improve, it still falls short for many students, teachers — and even school board members. We agree with the governor’s assessment that access without affordability is "meaningless." Therefore, NYSSBA is encouraged by the governor’s proposals for low-cost access for low-income households and subsidized service for the neediest children. 

We are excited about the governor’s proposal to reinvigorate the arts and cultural activities. The arts are integral to the development of skills such as teamwork and leadership for our students. New York public school students and teachers are eager to resume their role as contributors to the visual and performing arts in their communities. 

We await more details on all of these proposals for a more in-depth analysis. School board members look forward to being part of the discussion to help ensure that New York’s recovery from this pandemic is equitable for all students.

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