ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The statewide teachers union New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) is noting a “strong display of support for public schools” as the majority of school budgets are on track to win approval. According to a preliminary analysis by NYSUT of 501 school budget votes, 496 passed. That’s a better than 99% passage rate. There are over 650 school budgets statewide, however.

The five districts that didn’t pass were Carmel in Putnam County, along with Long Island’s Bridgehampton, Northport-East Northport, Three Village, and Wantagh.

“Voters in communities across New York once again have shown that funding public schools at the local level is a top priority for their families,” stated NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “After more than a year of crisis, it’s clearer than ever before that public schools are the backbones of our communities, delivering not only an education to our students, but providing social-emotional learning, mental health services, meals and so much more. Investing in public education is investing in the future of our state. Clearly, voters agree.” 

New York State school districts formed their budgets following historic funding commitments.

Prior to the pandemic, NYSUT stated that it advocated for new investments to address underlying needs. The union stated that these included increased mental health needs, cuts to AP and elective courses, and a lack of support for English language learners.