Alliance for Quality Education

04/15/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/15/2024 16:58

AQE Responds to Gov. Hochul’s Budget Announcement

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 15, 2024) - In response to Governor Hochul's budget announcement, public education advocacy organization the Alliance for Quality Education released the following statement:

"We are deeply concerned about all the time wasted in pushing back on cuts instead of charting a path forward toward dismantling educational racism," said Marina Marcou-O'Malley, Co-Executive Director, Alliance for Quality Education.

"The Governor forced us to spend an enormous amount of time and energy debating something that wasn't a debate before she put it in her budget. Instead of talking about child care, instead of figuring out how to truly improve New Yorkers lives, we have been having conversations about cuts and not rolling back wins. This time we spent defending her proposed cuts to public schools could have been time spent thinking ahead on how to build a coherent and continuous system of early childhood education and K-12 education to ensure that our children can thrive. It was a debate that should never have had to happen at all, and it was a missed opportunity to make real change that could have transformed the lives of families and children.

"We as AQE spent the last quarter century fighting to build public education on foundational values such as equity and adequacy so that more generations of Black, brown, low income and immigrant students can benefit from a quality public education. When the Governor proposed to 'rightsize school funding' - a plan to make cuts in the sake of saving the state money - she once again reverted to balancing the state's budget on the backs of children, instead of fairly taxing the ultra wealthy.

"Today's announcement was sparse on education, and included not a word on child care. We need to wait for the details. If Governor Hochul is moving to force the hand of the State Legislature, now is the time for them to show where they are not in alignment. The Governor does not pass the budget on her own, as much as it may seem like it sometimes. It isn't over until it's over."