July/August 2021 Issue
June 13, 2021

VOTE in local primary elections!

Source: NYSUT United

June 22 is primary day in New York state. Early voting will be available from June 12–20. Absentee ballots will be available, as well.

Check with your local county board of elections for times and locations.

With no state general election this fall, this year’s June primaries all concern local-level offices.

A primary election is an election in which registered voters select a candidate who they believe should be a political party’s candidate for elected office to run in the general election. They are also used to choose convention delegates and party leaders. New York uses a closed primary process, in which the selection of a party’s candidates in an election is limited to registered party members.

Budget success ties record high In yet another strong display of support for public schools, voters approved 99.3 percent of school budgets for 2021–22, according to analysis by NYSUT.

“Voters in communities across New York once again have shown that funding public schools at the local level is a top priority for their families,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said.

“After more than a year of crisis, it’s clearer than ever before that public schools are the backbones of our communities, delivering not only an education to our students, but providing social-emotional learning, mental health services, meals and so much more,” he said. “Investing in public education is investing in the future of our state. Clearly, voters agree.”

Voters across the state approved 670 budgets and defeated only five — a rate of 99.3 percent. This passage rate ties the record set in 2017. More than 95 percent of school budgets have passed annually since 2013.

This year school districts devised budgets following historic funding commitments, from both the state and federal governments, aimed at bolstering public education after more than a year of pandemicrelated disruptions.

Even before the pandemic, NYSUT advocated for significant new investments to address critical underlying needs that schools have dealt with for years. These include increased mental health needs, cuts to AP and elective courses, and a lack of support for English language learners.

Pallotta said it’s critical that districts use their budgets to immediately begin addressing those underlying needs, while bolstering the health and safety of schools in the ongoing battle against COVID-19.