Protect children's education despite state budget
Thanks to everyone who joined our petition to
Gov. David Paterson to restore the education funding to our
schools. Our collective actions have forced the governor to repay
school districts and local governments the money he withheld last
month. We objected to this plan because it meant balancing the
budget on the backs of our children.
He withheld $750 million in payments to school districts and local
governments after the state Legislature disagreed with his call
for additional spending cuts to close the $3.2 billion budget
deficit, rationalizing the action was necessary to keep the state
from running out of cash.
Meanwhile, as the economic recession continues, our governor and
legislative leaders continue to throw away $1 million a day -
that is $350 million for 2009 - in lost revenues and leave
the $200 million upfront payment on the table due to their
indecision on Aqueduct Race Track. This is vitally needed cash for
Moreover, despite not selecting a bidder thus far, the governor
has already added the $200 million upfront payment toward this
year's budget deficit. We now run the risk of losing that sum for
this fiscal year. Where is the fiscal responsibility?
The governor confirmed state revenues have rebounded and he will
begin making the education payments starting last Friday. But the
problem is far from over and we have to keep the pressure up to
protect our children's future because he has threatened to
withhold payments again in March.
"So that will be the end of this chapter, but not the end of this
problem because we have another $12 [billion] or $13 billion that
need to be paid in March. And once again we’re worrying
about where our revenues are," he said on WOR's "John Gambling
As our woes grow, home foreclosures have increased in New York
City, a troubling sign for the new year. With city unemployment at
10 percent, the number of New Yorkers at risk of losing their
homes last month surged 84.3 percent compared with December 2008
and though recently approved mortgage relief legislation should
help stave off foreclosures, the outlook remains bleak for
our communities in the face of these indecisive actions.