Schenectady teachers union joins school funding lawsuit against Cuomo

Categories: News, Schenectady County

The Schenectady teachers union and its president joined a school funding lawsuit filed Tuesday in Albany County, challenging the constitutionality of 20-percent reductions in aid payments to schools districts across the state.

The suit argues the state Legislature ceded its power to the governor in granting authority to withhold budgeted payments and that the governor has overstepped his authority in carrying out cuts the union says prevent schools from providing students a sound education.

Juliet Benaquisto, president of the Schenectady Federation of Teachers and a Mont Pleasant Middle School teacher, and Tracy Cimino, a recently-laid off paraprofessional in the district and the parent of a high school sophomore, are both named plaintiffs in the suit. The suit was filed by New York State United Teachers, a statewide union organization.

Facing a projected shortfall of $28.5 million if state aid reductions continued, Schenectady district officials slashed hundreds

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