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NYS PTA Calls On Cuomo To Help Westchester School District's Budget Gap

Yonkers High School. Photo Credit: File
Yonkers Schools Superintendent Edwin Quezada Photo Credit: Yonkers School District
Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo Credit: Provided

With hundreds of jobs and several programs on the line as the Yonkers School District faces a multi-million dollar budget gap , the New York State PTA is calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to “help fix this funding inequity,” in the form of $16.3 million.

The PTA noted that the schools are facing a $21.3 million budget gap for the upcoming year, that could lead to the elimination of 251 educators and staff members from city schools. In response, they’ve circulated an online petition to be sent to Cuomo.

Citing a rise in employee salaries and benefits, the rising cost of utilities, transportation and tuitions, Yonkers Schools Superintendent Edwin Quezada stated that, “what cost the district $592 million this year will cost us $623 million in 2018-19.”

“As of this date, there are insufficient revenue from federal, state and city sources. The anticipated District revenue for 2018-2019 is expected to be $580.7 million,” Quezada said. “Our fiscal struggle for sustained recurring revenues will persist based on what we know today. The annual gap could persistently be $45 million or more, and the only option will be more employee layoffs.”

“This is unconscionable, irresponsible and unjust; we cannot sacrifice the future education of 27,000 children who do achieve some of the highest educational results despite this impediment.”

According to the NYSPTA, the cuts would include a dozen art and music teachers, six gym teachers, five elementary school teachers, 14 guidance counselors, 54 teaching assistants, 50 bus monitors, five public safety officers and 50 school aids. The cuts would also include educational programs and services.

“He said himself in his last State of the State message, ‘ee must address education funding inequities and dedicate more of our state school aid to poorer districts.’ It won't completely fix the current foundation aid funding inequity, but it would be a great start. Please ask Governor Cuomo to be true to his word and support Yonkers Public Schools with $16.3 million.”

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