WASHINGTON— Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on the New York state budget.
"Like most election year budgets, this one is a mixed bag for New York's children, families and communities. While it provides a much-needed injection of state aid for our public school students, and starts the process of making that formula need-based again, it worsens the anti-democratic tax cap and hurts communities' ability to make decisions on behalf of their students. And while it increases financial aid and supports for students attending colleges and universities, and expands pre-K dramatically, helping solidify Mayor Bill de Blasio's marque objective to open the door to a better future for thousands of children, it also sadly favors those children who attend charters over those who attend traditional public schools.
"The budget takes important steps in the healthcare arena, protecting patients and healthcare workers through new safe patient-handling procedures, and preventing our hospitals—like SUNY Downstate Medical Center—from being privatized, helping ensure vulnerable communities get the care they need.
"While the budget takes real steps to stem the state's obsession with testing and data over teaching and student privacy, it doesn't provide a comprehensive solution. High-stakes testing that is inappropriate for students shouldn't then be used as a pivotal factor in teacher evaluations.
"New Yorkers deserve a budget that helps create equity and opportunity for all our children and communities."