Washington, DC – With New York State facing a $1.3 billion shortfall for education, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced legislation that would invest more than $500 million into New York City schools to keep teachers in our class rooms and help local communities hold the line on property taxes. The Keeping Our Educators Working Act would help prevent some of the 19,000 expected layoffs of teachers and support staff.
“We are facing a real crisis right now in New York, and as a mother and a lawmaker, I am very concerned about the impact the state’s budget shortfall could have on our schools,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “Laying off thousands of teachers would be a disaster for our children and our communities. It would mean higher property taxes and lower the quality of education we can give to our children. This legislation would provide New York communities with the funding we need so that we do not have to lay off thousands of teachers and we can protect our children’s education.”
Based on previous funding formulas, New York City schools would receive more than $500 million in federal funding.
Under the proposed New York State Budget, 99 percent of school districts would see state aid cuts next year. These cuts would translate into larger class sizes, less extra help, fewer advanced classes, and other lost opportunities for students. Many school districts will have to cut school programs and raise tax levies to make up for the loss in state aid, furthering jeopardizing public education and burdening local taxpayers.
The Keep Our Educators Working Act would create a $23 billion education jobs fund, modeled after the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). New York would receive approximately $1.4 billion in federal funding through this legislation. Keep Our Educators Working Act funding could be used for compensation and benefits to retain existing employees, hiring of new employees, and on-the-job training activities for education-related careers.