New York State schools in need of funding

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ALBANY, NY – As we near the start of the new school year lawmakers, parents and students are voicing concerns about the state of school funding.

The Governor has said 20% cuts will be on the way if Washington doesn’t act.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on what some are proposing for both long- and short-term solutions.

((Tali Beckwith-Cohen, Rochester City School District Student)) Students are grieving, we are scared. Our lives have been upended, our futures are uncertain and more than ever, we need the support our district is unable to provide without proper funding.

That’s what one Rochester student had to say about the uncertainty over school funding.

The Alliance for Quality Education says school districts were informed of a temporary 20% withholding in state aid while the wait for the next federal stimulus continues.

Without action advocates say 128 million dollars in cuts could be on the way for the Rochester City School District.

((Tali Beckwith-Cohen, Rochester City School District Student)) I don’t even know what there is left to cut. We have lost so much we cannot afford to lose any more.

Advocates say a short-term solution would be tapping into rainy-day funds.

(Jasmine Gripper, Alliance for Quality Education Executive Director)) According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, New York State has over 2 billion dollars in the rainy-day funds and over 2 billion in funds from settlements. This is a rainy day.

Long-term, State Senator Robert Jackson and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal are sponsoring legislation that would increase taxes on the ultra-wealthy to fund schools.

(Linda Rosenthal, Assemblymember)) How can we look at ourselves in the mirror and say we’ve done all we could for the next generation if we don’t pass this bill and other revenue raisers so that our state’s kids can function in the future?

Proposals to increase taxes on millionaires and billionaires have been opposed by Republican lawmakers who say that could cause more people to leave the state.

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