NYSUT Blasts Paterson Plan

ALBANY—The state teachers union is the first on the air to bash David Paterson’s proposed deficit reduction package, saying the mid-year school aid cuts it contains “could bring on a devastating storm that rips apart public education.”

“More cuts in the middle of the year threaten student progress,” the ad, airing on radio stations in Albany and Long Island, says.

This is the first phase of a $200,000 campaign, a spokesman for NYSUT said. It will include statewide radio ads, billboards and print ads, as well as phone banking. To make up for the school cuts, detailed here, NYSUT is recommending the elimination of the failed Empire Zone program and possible taxes on sugary drinks and plastic bags, as well as “strategically” tapping the state’s rainy day fund, which is suggested in the storm-themed ad.

Paterson has repeatedly said that the cuts are painful, but necessary, and that he believes he has to implement them to prevent fiscal ruin.

The ad is below.