The 2011 state budget cut $1.3 billion from school classrooms across New York. In enacting these cuts, students in poor districts lost the most.

  • The cuts in poor districts were three times as large as those in wealthy districts (see Methodology section for a description of the calculations and definitions).
  • To put these cuts in perspective, cuts in poor districts of $843 per pupil amounts to a cut of $21,075 for a classroom of 25 students.
  • Cuts in average wealth districts, below average wealth districts, poor districts and the poorest districts were all two to three times larger than those in wealthy districts.
  • Students in poor districts were forced to give up much more in their classrooms than those in wealthy districts. Across the state class sizes went up in 63% of school districts, some districts went as far as to reduce kindergarten or pre-kindergarten from full-day to half day.  Large numbers of districts made cuts to summer school, art, music, and honors or advanced placement courses that are essential to competitive college applications. Across the state 11,000 teachers, librarians, guidance counselors and other school positions were eliminated this year.
  • All of this despite the fact that Governor Cuomo ran on a pledge to be “the great equalizer” in education by redistributing funding from wealthy school districts to poor ones. Instead his first budget has taken us back to greater inequality.
  • By contrast in 2007, the State made a commitment to schoolchildren across the state with the Campaign for Fiscal Equity settlement that provided increases to poor districts that were more than four times those given to wealthy districts. Governor Cuomo’s first budget has reversed the state’s commitment to educational equity and opportunity.

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