Teachers union sues Cuomo over school aid cuts, claim governor’s spending power is unconstitutional

ALBANY — The state’s largest teachers union is suing Gov. Cuomo over funds withheld from school districts across New York and claims his spending power is unconstitutional.



Andrew Cuomo wearing a suit and tie: New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a news conference on September 08, 2020 in New York City.


© Spencer Platt
New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a news conference on September 08, 2020 in New York City.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Albany Supreme Court, argues that the state is illegally withholding $5.2 billion in school aid and that the governor has no constitutional authority to cut the budget despite sweeping powers granted to him by the Legislature amid the pandemic.

“Time is up,” New York State United Teachers president Andy Pallotta said. “With the loss of state funding driving cuts at the local level in districts around the state, we can’t just keep waiting for action at the federal level to fund our schools.”

Lawmakers gave Cuomo broad power to amend and cut the budget as

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Governor’s education advisor hits back at teacher COVID-19 safety study

SALT LAKE CITY — The online insurance company Insurify caused tension when it released a COVID-19 safety study claiming Utah’s teachers are the most at-risk of contracting the virus in the country.

But during a news conference on Thursday, Governor Gary Herbert’s education adviser Tami Pyfer hit back at several of the study’s criteria.

“Some of the things that they looked at (to determine COVID-19 safety) were … the strength of our teacher union. They looked at our teacher pay, our school funding,” Pyfer said.

Pyfer acknowledged that social distancing was a challenge for many campuses, though she believes several districts were making it work.

“There are districts that are having A-B days and having half the student population come on one day and half the population come on the other day. That is one of those mitigation efforts that, as we see cases rise at schools, they will have

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