ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) – New York’s largest teachers union is suing the state over reductions in school aid.
The lawsuit filed in Albany County Supreme Court by New York State United Teachers seeks the release of state money withheld in July, August, and September.
The filing also seeks an injunction against withholding or delaying future school funding payments.
In the meantime, the state’s budget director has said there are no plans to slash finding until after November’s election.
The reason for potential cuts is loss of state revenues because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has threatened to cut aid to schools and local governments by 20 percent unless the federal government delivers an aid package to make up the loss.
NYSUT says a 20 percent cut to school districts is potentially “catastrophic.”
“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,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said in a release. “At this point, a lawsuit unfortunately is the necessary next step to compel our leaders to do what’s right: Fund our future and stop these cuts.”
NYSUT argues that the Cuomo administration’s authority to slash budgets is unconstitutional because it violates separation of powers as outlined in the state’s constitution.
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