Consequences of New York State Education Cuts
Despite claims that education budget cuts could easily be accommodated through alittle belt-tightening and fat-
trimming, New York’s public education system is feeling real
pain.As the school year enters its fourth week, the $1.3 billion in cuts this year has meantfewer teachers and support staff; class sizes of 40 or more in some school districts; barebones art, music and interscholastic sports programs; and so few psychologists, socialworkers and guidance counselors in some places, students
and their futures
are beingput at risk.School aid is funded at $19.6 billion this year, or $5.5 billion (-22%) less funding inour classrooms than what was promised in 2008-09. In fact, four years after the CFEremedy was enacted, New York is right back where it started. The $19.61 billion in statefunding for ed
ucation in this year’s
executive budget is essentially the same funding levelas provided in 2007-08 ($19.64 billion), when the Court of Appeals rules the state hadviolated its Constitution by failing to provide all students with a sound, basic education.
It is now clear that this year’s
cuts are having an especially devastating effect onschools. What makes this year different from the previous two years is that school districtsare running out of ways to absorb the cuts without affecting what takes place in theclassroom.In fact, this year students are finding more faces of their peers in classrooms andfewer faces of adults.There are approximately 30,000 fewer teachers and support staff in our schoolscompared to three years ago. More than 24,000 teaching positions have been lost over thelast three years
. Some 6,000 fewer teachers’ aides and other paraprofessionals are
supporting student learning and district operations.This represents a 9.2% reduction in the teaching force from the high of 260,000 inthe 2008-09 year. This year, the cuts include about 7,700 actual layoffs
tax-paying NewYorkers being tossed onto the unemployment lines. Nationally, 293,000 education jobshave been lost since August 2008.
Legislative Fact Sheet