New York state's budget brings joy, controversy

Dan Levy
Updated: April 07, 2021 09:23 PM
Created: April 07, 2021 01:21 PM

The $212 billion state budget agreement for the 2022 fiscal year focuses on money for schools, green initiatives, rent relief, and childcare.

The agreement earmarks $29.5 billion for schools. That's a $3 billion increase from last year.

In addition, $105 million will go toward expanding full-day pre-kindergarten, providing Pre-K funding to 210 districts currently without state funding.

The budget allows for a three-year tuition freeze for SUNY and CUNY and restores $72 million in operating aid.

Among those who were celebrating an agreement on the new budget were people who have been advocating for equity in education, not just for the past few months, but for decades.

Education advocates were absolutely elated and joyful as they rallied outside the Capitol, delighted to proclaim that their hard work has enabled them to tax the wealthy so that schools in New York state can be fully funded.

For decades, parents, students, and educators have ridden in bus caravans to Albany, knocking on the doors of lawmakers, demanding fair and equitable funding for schools.

Over the same time period, those advocates have helped to elected progressive legislators who share the same views toward education.

With super majorities in both houses of the Legislature, education funding increased by $3 billion this year, which means hard work, tenacity, and dedication has paid off.

However, the budget also sets aside $2 billion for so-called “excluded workers,” something that has drawn a great deal of controversy and  criticism.

Learn more about why by watching the video of Dan Levy's story.

MORE INFORMATION: Complete breakdown on budget from Gov. Cuomo's office

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