On Monday, August 24th, State Senator Shelley B. Mayer, Chair of the Education Committee, sent a letter to the New York Congressional Delegation urging that they secure additional federal funding for New York schools as districts across the state face cuts. The letter is co-signed by State Senator John Liu, Chair of the NYC Education Committee, as well as 35 other New York State Senators.
On August 13th, it was announced that the State Director of the Division of the Budget is withholding 20% of the state’s share of education funding to local school districts due to significant shortfalls in state revenue caused by the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Senator Shelley B. Mayer, Chair of the Education Committee, said, “The state needs federal funding to protect our students from devastating cuts to education. The coronavirus pandemic had already been such a big blow on students’ lives, exposing many of them to trauma and isolation. We cannot expect students to absorb anymore of the devastating impact of the pandemic. It is shameful that politics in Washington is getting in the way of delivering for public schools. I hope that they are able to rise above the fray and do what is right for students.”
The letter states:
“We are deeply troubled about further erosion of education programs and services for all children particularly in districts heavily reliant on the State for school funding. These are high need districts educating students living in poverty and communities without the resources to provide additional support. These districts will not be able to absorb State aid reductions without reductions in programs, services and staff.
You have consistently fought for our children and our schools, and we know you continue to do so as you negotiate the next bill. But we write to give you the “on the ground” perspective that we see throughout our districts. We are deeply worried. We need additional designated school funding in the next bill. We appeal to all of our Congressional colleagues to continue to fight for our children. We cannot expect our children to absorb anymore of the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic."