New York State United Teachers files lawsuit following cuts to state education funding

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The largest teachers union in New York State has filed a lawsuit against the state following cuts to state education funding.

New York State United Teachers announced on September 16 that the union filed a lawsuit in Albany County Supreme Court. The lawsuit follows state education funding cuts. The union seeks to the release of money withheld during the summer leading into the new school year.

NYSUT stated that some school districts across the state have lost funding from local resources now making them dependent on state funding. In such districts, a 20% cut “could be catastrophic, and certainly would lead to a ‘gross and glaring inadequacy.’” 

“Time is up,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “With the loss of state funding driving cuts at the local level in districts around the state, we can’t just keep waiting for action at the federal level to fund our schools. At this point, a lawsuit unfortunately is the necessary next step to compel our leaders to do what’s right: Fund our future and stop these cuts.”

The union challenged the constitutionality of the executive budgetary powers provided for the state Division of Budget as part of this year’s state budget process.

According to NYSUT, continuing with the 20% reduction would cause further issues with significant education-related payments the state makes this month, including a roughly $2.5 billion payment to school districts on September 30.

The union has also explored other solution to help fund public education including taxes on the upper class and additional federal stimulus.

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