With New York on pause, businesses closed, and people without jobs, there is little to no revenue coming into the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo said this week that, without federal aid, there could be massive cuts to schools, local governments, and hospitals.
“If you were to allocate the shortfall on a flat basis across, you would be cutting schools 20 percent, local governments 20 percent, and hospitals 20 percent,” Cuomo said during his daily press conference.
David Albert with the New York State School Boards Association says a 20 percent cut in public education is more than $5.5 billion.
“There’s really no way to absorb that kind of a cut without massive layoffs and cuts to educational programs,” Albert explained.
Schools are unable to even complete their budgets right now with so much uncertainty.
“They really can’t complete a budget right now because they don’t know if the numbers passed are going to hold up,” Albert said. “The path forward at this point is to deal with the immediate crisis; which is how do we get our budgets put together for 2020-2021 without gutting programs and services, and how do we reopen schools in a safe manner?”
Albert says the School Boards Association and other major educational groups will be sending a letter to New York’s congressional delegation, asking funding be included for local schools in the next federal stimulus bill.