FOR RELEASE: January 19, 2021
Governor Cuomo presented a budget proposal – or actually, two proposals – today that includes a lot of unknowns and uncertainty for school districts. The unusual design of his budget presentation – one that assumes a minimum level of federal assistance to New York and one that provides a fairer share – underscores the fact that the governor’s budget plan is, more this year than ever, a work in progress.
We are heartened by the state’s success in paring back the projected budget deficit, though the gap still remains daunting. New York is in dire need of assistance from the federal government, and we join with the governor in calling for our state to receive its fair share of future Covid relief packages.
We remain concerned with the governor’s proposals to help balance the state’s budget at the expense of school districts. Those proposals include: using federal money to offset state aid cuts, reducing and consolidating categorical aids, limiting reimbursement for the steps districts took to keep their transportation programs intact last spring and eliminating prior year aid claims.
We fully support the governor’s call for the federal government to remove the "SALT" cap on state and local tax deductibility, which has hurt so many New Yorkers who support their local school districts with their property tax payments.
On the heels of the unprecedented disruption caused by the pandemic, our schools and our students need and deserve a recovery that provides financial stability, not more unpredictability and anxiety. We are hopeful that, with sufficient federal help, our students and schools will thrive in the post-Covid recovery. We look forward to working with our state lawmakers to chart a course that provides the financial stability that our schools and students need.