I asked last week if panic over possible mid-year cuts to schools by the state could cost Democrats the control of the senate, which they are scrambling to win for the first time in 40 years. Today, the answer seems to be yes and no.
The state teachers union is, as president Dick Iannuzzi predicted, reversing its neutral position and endorsing 30 incumbent Republicans in their senate races. But after the senate’s Democratic leader, Malcolm Smith, issued a blanket promise that “Senate Democrats are not cutting education funding,” the union decided on Friday to endorse him, too, plus five extra Democrats it had previously decided to be neutral on (punishment for supporting a property tax cap).
Here’s the full list of endorsements that NYSUT is making for the November elections.
Oh and, yeah, that other question: Does this mean schools will be insulated from mid-year cuts? “Well, I hope that that will be the outcome,” Iannuzzi told me in a phone call this afternoon.
Iannuzzi said he feels he’s gotten strong promises from both sides and both parties in the legislature. The person who hasn’t made a promise: Governor Paterson. “I don’t think he’s taking them off the table, but this certainly isn’t going to be something that he’s going to desire to cut,” Iannuzzi said. “I hope that everybody will understand it and appreciate it.”