The following statement was released from New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ office on March 30, 2011 regarding her “No” vote on the Education Budget.
This budget was, by all accounts, very difficult to undertake and it includes many encouraging measures which I was pleased to support. However, I had serious concerns with the education portion and the negative impact that it would have on the school districts of Yonkers, Greenburgh and Mt. Pleasant. Particularly in Yonkers, the school district is struggling from the expiration of Federal stimulus dollars, decreased contributions from the City, and mounting contractual obligations to the Teacher and Employee Retirement Systems. The Mt. Pleasant School District is facing the elimination of entire programs, and the Ardsley School District has said they will need to lay off teachers resulting in larger class sizes. I could not in good conscience, vote for this portion of the budget and put the futures of the children of the 35th District in jeopardy in order to close the deficit.