City Council members are calling on Gov. Cuomo to pony up an additional $1.4 billion to fund public schools.
Council Education Committee Chairman Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn) asked for the funding in a letter to Cuomo on Friday, saying the city’s system of 1,800 public schools is facing staffing shortages and other challenges. The letter was signed by 28 City Council members.
“Seventy percent of the city’s 1.1 million students are living in poverty,” Treyger wrote. “Unfortunately, many of these students still have limited access to small class sizes, art, music, sports and college readiness classes.”
The letter also cited a citywide shortage of guidance counselors and school psychologists.
“With one measure, New York State can help significantly close the equity gap facing too many of our school communities,” Treyger said.
City Council Youth Services Committee Chairwoman Deborah Rose (D-Staten Island) and Civil and Human Rights Committee Chairman Mathieu Eugene (D-Brooklyn) were among the signatories.
According to the city Education Department, the state funded about 37% of the city’s $32.3 billion pubic school budget in the current 2018-19 school year. That’s roughly $11.95 billion.
Treyger is seeking the increase for the upcoming school year that starts in September.