ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The State of New York is facing a multi-billion dollar deficit this coming year, but that isn’t stopping education groups from asking for a few billion dollar increase to their budget.
“We’re calling on the state to make that investment in public education,” Carl Jorn, Chief Press Officer for NYSUT, said.
Korn from the teacher’s union says that it’s the state constitutional obligation to invest in schools and guarantee that every child can go to school for free….even if it’s a pretty hefty price tag for taxpayers.
“We believe a two billion dollar increase is necessary for the upcoming year in order to fully fund public education.”
According to the Educational Conference Board, which is comprised of the teacher’s union, the school board association and others, $1.5 billion of this $2 billion number, is needed just to maintain current programs and services.
“This money includes the increases in required pension costs, inflation, increases in costs of health insurance, teacher’s salaries.”
The other $500 million is needed for struggling schools and to increase teacher development.
NEWS10 ABC asked Korn what he would say to people who are concerned that New York already spends more per student than any other state in the country.
“They bring into play the cost of living in New York City and downstate which is much higher than other states.”
Although the needs for schools are growing, there is also a looming multi-billion budget deficit the state will be facing this coming session, which has many, including the state education commissioner worried.
“We are very concerned about that,” MaryEllen Elia, New York Education Commissioner, said. “We have to make sure that we are within the constraints of what we know is going to be a difficult budget year but also hoping to get for our students those things that are most necessary.
The 2018 to 2019 budget is due April 1st.