Last week, the New York State budget office informed school districts statewide that it was withholding 20 percent of the state aid to public schools. This cut in funding is totally unacceptable. The FFDC is calling on members to contact their State legislators and demand that they protect NYC public school funding NOW.
For New York State to intentionally hold back 20 percent of state funding for public education at any time is unconscionable; to do so now, weeks before schools are set to reopen amidst a pandemic, is a direct attack on the safety of students, educators and our families.
As FFDC members and supporters of NYC public schools, please email your State Senators, Assemblymember and State leaders. The New York State legislature must return to Albany to pass legislation to raise revenue to protect our schools from this catastrophic loss of school aid as they prepare to reopen.
Copy/paste the following text (and include statement if you’re a NYC public school parent) and email to the following NYS legislators:
NYS Senator Liz Krueger
NYS Senator Jose M. Serrano
NYS Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright
Majority Leader Senator Andrea Stewarts Cousins
Speaker of the Assembly Carl E. Heastie
Dear State Assemblymember/Senator:
I am writing as a New York City resident, a member of the Four Freedoms Democratic Club (FFDC) and as a strong advocate of public schools in NYC (and public school parent).
As NYC public schools prepare to open during this pandemic, the New York State budget office plans to withhold 20% of State education spending. At a time of unprecedented health and safety issues, NYS funding should be increasing to cover the significant additional costs necessary to open safely - and certainly not withheld, which further exacerbates the hardship and uncertainty of reopening schools in only a few weeks during a global public health crisis.
In addition, by withholding needed public school funds, the existing inequities and injustices of historic chronic underfunding of NYC public schools is further deepened, which predominantly impacts black, brown and low income students.
We are writing to urge you to return to Albany immediately to take action necessary to ensure that no funds are withheld from New York City public schools and sufficient funding for safe school reopening---including passing legislation to provide increased funding for NYC public schools covering all costs for compliance with New York State school reopening guidelines.
With public schools scheduled to open in a few weeks, this action can’t wait. You must act now to provide the necessary funding for public schools. Withholding these necessary funds needed for public schools is unacceptable at any time, and is truly unconscionable when these monies are desperately needed to open public schools safely to protect New York City students, educators and their families.
The FFDC is a Democratic Club based in Manhattan’s Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island and inspired by the ideals of Franklin Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech.