Statement on Impending NY State Budget & Education Funding
As an at-Large Board of Education Member for Buffalo Public Schools, a Buffalo Public School parent, and a school psychologist, I am gravely concerned to hear Governor Andrew Cuomo indicate cutting aid to schools in the impending state budget. With Buffalo Public Schools relying almost entirely on state aid to operate, cuts will greatly impede our ability to build on progress under the Education Bargain with Students and Parents. As it stood, the entire increase in the Governor’s proposed budget to Buffalo Public Schools would only cover the cost of the growing annual expense to charter schools.
Our Buffalo students are already underserved in many areas. Cuts to education aid will be devastating to our students and the Board’s commitment to provide greater access to and equity in mental health staff, art, music, and advanced placement and accelerated courses. It will also reverse our progress and efforts to address high and disproportionate suspension rates.
Our teachers and staff, parents, caregivers, students, food service workers, and nurses have made sacrifices during this unprecedented time from the COVID-19 pandemic. I do not think it is too much to expect the Governor to be more flexible with accepting billions of aid provided to NY in the federal stimulus bill. I also do not think it is too much to expect that NY’s billionaires and multi-millionaires sacrifice a bit with a tax increase to prevent cuts in education.
Our WNY State Representatives- Majority Leader in the Assembly Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Senator Tim Kennedy, Assembly Member Sean Ryan, and Assembly Member Patrick Burke- have always been champions for public education in Buffalo. I hope that they will be there for our schools and students once again.
Buffalo Board of Education, Member-at-Large