He added that the state is awaiting federal help to offset an estimated $62 billion revenue loss over a four-year period. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said New York needs at least $30 billion in aid to erase a budget deficit that he says is due to the pandemic.
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“In fact, the state has paid nearly 100% of funds to school districts,” Klopott said. “We will work with our partners in government to address any remaining gaps in federal assistance and, in the absence of federal funding, any future actions will take school district need into consideration — NYSUT should stop with the nonsense and lies, and focus on Washington and the federal funding we need, not distract attention.”
Later in the day, the state Division of Budget announced that no school funding would be withheld in September. But NYSUT noted that there has been funding withheld over the last few months, which should be paid to the school districts.
Jillian Witchey, president of the Auburn Educational, Secretaries and Paraprofessionals Association, said she was “pleasantly surprised” to learn of NYSUT’s lawsuit. While she acknowledged it’s unfortunate because of the reductions in state aid, she said it was needed because of the “devastating” cuts school districts made due to the lack of funding.
“They’re doing it on behalf of districts,” Witchey said. “It’s going to help districts and more importantly, it’s going to help the kids. It’s a hard time to work in education, but it’s a good time to be a member of NYSUT when they do something like this.”
Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wears a protective face mask as he arrives to speak during a daily briefing following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., July 13, 2020.
Mike Segar | Reuters
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday the coronavirus pandemic was a “profound transformational” moment in U.S. history that was so traumatic, it will leave many Americans with post traumatic stress disorder.
“Covid was a trauma for this country. Covid was like being at war,” Cuomo said at a press conference on a boat off Long Island. “I don’t know that we’ve even fully appreciated all of the effects of the trauma that we’ve gone through. There’s going to be PTSD from Covid.”
Cuomo said he will provide more information on the mental health consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak next week. He highlighted the need to understand the psychological impact of the pandemic on school-age children, domestic abuse and substance abuse.
“This is a profound transformational moment in society,” Cuomo said. “One of the lessons to me about Covid is it shows you how dangerous denial is. Well Covid, who would have known? Anyone who was paying attention would have known.”
The Democratic governor referred to previous viral outbreaks, including the SARS in China that was also a coronavirus and was transmitted from animals to humans.
Cuomo stood firm on his conservative approach to reopening businesses, even as restaurant groups apply pressure to expand indoor dining in New York City. Cuomo said the aggressive tactics New York employed to contain the virus allowed it to get the infection rate down to about 1%.
“Our calibration now between managing Covid and opening businesses, that’s an ongoing tension,” Cuomo said. “We’re not yet at a point where we can get back to normal life.”