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Teachers union files lawsuit against state over budget cuts, withheld funds

The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) union has filed a lawsuit against the state over budget cuts the group is calling “unconstitutional.”

Posted: Sep 16, 2020 11:07 AM
Updated: Sep 16, 2020 11:13 AM

ALBANY, N.Y. – The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) union has filed a lawsuit against the state over budget cuts the group is calling “unconstitutional.” According to the union, the state has already withheld 20% of monthly school funding since June.

In the lawsuit, NYSUT is challenging the executive power of the state’s Division of Budget to make decisions that they say will prevent districts from providing a sound education to students across the state. The group claims the executive branch’s authority to cut funding violates the separation of powers in the state constitution.

Earlier this month, NYSUT warned they were prepared to take legal action against the budget cuts.

“Time is up,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “With the loss of state funding driving cuts at the local level in districts around the state, we can’t just keep waiting for action at the federal level to fund our schools. At this point, a lawsuit unfortunately is the necessary next step to compel our leaders to do what’s right: Fund our future and stop these cuts.”

The union is urging the state to find a way to provide the necessary funding, and has suggested withdrawing money from the $7 billion state reserves.

Without any action from the state to close the budget gap, the union filed the suit with the Albany County Supreme Court.

The lawsuit can be viewed in full below:

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