Gov. Andrew Cuomo today will introduce an austere state budget that is expected to be filled with deep cuts to schools. In Long Island, slashed funding for local schools might mean teacher layoffs or axed school programs.
“There will undoubtedly be pressure on teachers either to make concessions or to accept the idea of massive layoffs across the Island,” said Jeff Rozran, president of the Syosset Teachers’ Association.
He said teachers might consider pay cuts, and students might sacrifice after-school programs. “It would be devastating,” he said.
Carl Korn, spokesman for New York State United Teachers, said state cuts would continue a two-year trend of taking state aid away from education.
Schools in poorer districts would be hardest hit, he said, because they most depend on the state aid. Other affluent districts can rely on local taxes for more funding, he added.
Cuomo’s announcement today will only be a proposal, so Korn stressed that parents could still call local elected officials if they wanted to criticize cuts. “This is an opportunity for parents with children in Long Island schools to make their voice heard,” he said.