ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State United Teachers announced it is preparing to take legal action against New York State if it follows through with its plan to withhold aid from school districts across the state.

The union referenced New York’s constitutional requirement to provide every student with a sound and basic education. NYSUT said the cuts will disproportionately impact high need, low wealth school districts and potentially violate that requirement.

NYSUT said the poorest 10 percent of school districts receive around 80 percent of their funding from the state while the richest 10 percent receive only 10 percent of their funding from the state.

It also cited recent staffing cuts that reduce student access to academic and other essential services. They include more than 220 layoffs in the Albany City School District and the more than 330 employees, including 10 percent of all district teachers, who were laid off days before the first day of school in Schenectady.

NYSUT Pres. Andy Pallotta said:

“We’ve already seen some districts make hasty decisions to slash their budgets in anticipation of a major state cut later this month. But, this isn’t just about jobs. It’s about what’s left for students when the dust settles as we see the loss of teachers and paraprofessionals who serve vital roles.”