ALBANY—Today, the New York State Senate passed its one-house budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2013-2014. New York State Senator Brad Hoylman joined 15 of his colleagues in voting ‘nay’ on the resolution, which was written behind closed doors by the Republican and Independent Democratic Conferences and rushed onto the Senate floor. On behalf of the Democratic Conference, Senator Hoylman specifically addressed the budget resolution’s $240 million in devastating cuts to New York City public schools.
Senator Hoylman said: “I oppose this budget resolution because of the unfair and inequitable way it treats New York City’s school children. New York City stands to lose $240 million a year because City officials could not come to an agreement with teachers over an evaluation system.This is not the first time New York City’s 1.1 million public school kids have lost out at the hands of government. Indeed, they are already losing $260 million in Race to the Top Funds. And this chamber eliminated and made permanent more than $300 million annually in Aid & Incentives for Municipalities. Completely zeroed out. And now, this $240 million cut. Remember that these are annual cuts, impacting every borough of the City, and will escalate to more than a billion dollars in fewer than five years.
It has been said that we are punishing the 1.1 million school children in New York City because the adults couldn't come to an agreement. I couldn't agree more. It's the adults -- not the kids -- who should be put into detention for not being able to work out a solution; it's the adults -- not the kids -- who, barring alternatives, need to find a way to fully fund New York City’s education system, as mandated by the Court of Appeals’ order in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit; and it's the adults -- not the children -- who have the responsibility to make certain we have a literate, educated, and functioning workforce and democracy in New York State.
It was no less than Thomas Jefferson who said that an enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic. Self-government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight. Jefferson said it is therefore imperative that a nation see to it that a suitable education is provided to all its citizens. I cannot support this resolution because not only does it shortchange New York City’s 1.1 million public school children, but also threatens to undermine the future of our state.”