Agreement to Restore Yonkers Education Funding

 

Today, we are happy to announce that working with Senator Sampson, Assembly Speaker Silver, State Comptroller DiNapoli, and Governor Paterson, an agreement has been reached which enables the City of Yonkers to adopt and certify its budget to include the $36.4 million in education funding that had been vetoed.

Governor Paterson’s recent budget veto of this education funding threatened to eliminate prekindergarten, transportation, and other programs within the Yonkers Public Schools system, which has already laid off 218 teachers, administrators and support staff. As such, we all worked together to take immediate action to alleviate this situation, which will ensure that we are preventing cuts that would have put 26,000 students in our schools in jeopardy, and deepened the fiscal crisis in the City of Yonkers.

“The impact of the cuts to the Yonkers Public School System was so great that my colleagues and I immediately responded, and personally appealed to the Governor and the Comptroller to work with us to remedy the situation. The resulting restoration of this vital funding for our students and their families demonstrates our commitment to doing everything possible to ensure that we protect the education of our children and the future of our City as our top priorities,” said Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District – D/WF).

When the full extent of these cuts was brought to light, I said that we would reverse it and I am happy that by the Yonkers State-Delegation working together, we did. I would also like to thank the Governor for helping us get this matter resolved quickly,” stated Spano (D,C,WF-93rd District).

"I am pleased the NYS Senate was able to work with the Governor and Assembly to prevent the unintended financial impact of the Governor’s veto to Yonkers Public Schools. Sen. Stewart-Cousins and I have worked hard to bring State funding back to Yonkers, and will continue to work with our colleagues in government to ensure our children’s future," Klein stated (D-34th District).

“I am sure that Comptroller DiNapoli saw the hardship that Yonkers was facing. Our next step is to restore as much aid as we can and we will continue to fight hard to get Yonkers through this national recession,” said Pretlow (D-87th District).

Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick said, "Within an hour of the bombshell from the Yonkers Public Schools superintendent on Saturday regarding the unintended but catastrophic consequences of the Governor's veto, our state delegation met with the Yonkers City Council Democrats and accepted our pleas to fix the problem. We have worked tirelessly around the clock since then. The legislature may not be in session but our delegation is certainly hard at work for Yonkers."

“The swift action by our representatives maintains Yonkers’ nationally recognized Prekindergarten program, transportation for more than 17,000 students and financial security that is critical for the District’s ability to manage emergencies. We appreciate their efforts on behalf of our 26,000 students and their families,” stated Bernard P. Pierorazio, Superintendent of Schools.