NYSUT Coordinator Todd Hathaway contends Grisanti stood with 1,500 people at a March rally and "he stood with public school students, then turns around and votes for the budget resolution that does not help students as it should. The resolution funds private schools more than public schools." Hathaway says he was flabbergasted when they heard how Grisanti voted. "We hope he'll hear our concerns and the impact the lack of funding over the next five years, and the missed opportunity to fund it at the level it should be," adds Hathaway.
Grisanti's office issued this statement:
Prior to voting on the Senate budget resolution, I contacted every school district I represent, asking them to identify their most important priority. The overwhelming response was the phasing out of the Gap Elimination Adjustment. That is exactly what the Senate has done. We provided $541 million, which is five time more than the Assembly provided. Additionally, the Senate plan would phase out Gap Elimination Adjustment by 2016.
Further, my Senate colleagues and I voted against the incumbent members of the Board of Regents. We increased school aid by over $812 million. We added over $145 million in funding for pre-K and flexible spending across Upstate New York. Just yesterday, we added an additional $250 million to education.
Unfortunately, because of politics, we have people outside protesting our legislation. They want me to raise taxes on middle class families. That is something I will not do.
At the end of the day, I do not work for the teachers union. I work for the taxpayers of the 60th District.