Dozens of Education Groups Urge Against School Cuts in New York

Dozens of education organizations on Monday urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to not cut or withhold aid to schools in the coming weeks as the state faces a budget reckoning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are asking you to provide stability, not fear,” the groups wrote in the letter to the governor.

“Commit to not making any new cuts or withholdings to education in the 2020-21 school year. It is your responsibility and obligation to provide steady, stable, and sustainable leadership during these difficult times. Let our public school children know that you prioritize them by refraining from making any more cuts. They depend on you.”

The letter was backed by the Alliance for Quality Education, an advocacy group that has been critical of Cuomo’s education policies and budgeting the past, and signed by more than 70 organizations. 

The letter comes as the state’s fiscal situation continues to be precarious due to the pandemic: New York has lost billions of dollars in tax revenue and faces multiple years of budget gaps.

Cuomo is seeking billions of dollars in aid from the federal government for the state to be made whole. If a stimulus package for state governments does not come through from Washington, Cuomo has raised the possibility of deep spending reductions, tax increases on the rich and borrowing to make ends meet in the budget. 

Education, second only to health care, is typically one of the costliest items in a state budget each year.  

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