Eileen Buckley / WBFO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, continuing his push to win several billion dollars in aid in the next federal COVID-19 relief package, wrote a letter to New York’s congressional delegation, saying the funding is “paramount” to the state’s recovery.


The state’s largest teachers union filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Division of Budget over more than $5 billion in state spending that’s expected to be withheld from school districts as the state grapples with an unprecedented budget crisis.

New York’s largest teachers union is planning to file a lawsuit against the state if Gov. Andrew Cuomo and members of the state Legislature don’t release funds withheld in recent weeks from school districts, some of which have had to lay off hundreds of employees as a result.

Dan Clark / WMHT

Schools in New York are busy finalizing plans to partially reopen, and many colleges and universities have already begun classes. But those who work at the schools, including teachers and professors, say guidelines for when to wear masks need to be more comprehensive to help prevent spread of the coronavirus. 

Paul Townsend/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The New York State United Teachers union is calling on U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to waive federal state testing requirements this year as schools continue to close in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

File Photo / WBFO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ready to release his state budget plan on Tuesday, and public school spending will likely once again be an area of contention, as the state faces a $6 billion budget gap.

Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia abruptly resigned Monday, taking members of the state Board of Regents by surprise. She said she will take a new job at the end of August at an unnamed national firm.

Shinichi Sugiyama / Flickr

The cap on charter schools in New York is unlikely to be raised this year because of changing political dynamics in the Democrat-led New York State Legislature and opposition from the teachers union.

NewYork Now

Major glitches earlier this month in the state’s standardized testing program for children in grades three through eight has led teachers in New York, and their union, to call for a complete overhaul of the tests. Karen DeWitt sat down with New York State United Teachers Vice President Jolene DiBrango, who says teachers want a fix before the tests are given again.

WBFO file photo

State education officials canceled computerized testing for New York’s third- through eighth-grade students on Wednesday after a software glitch prevented some students from being able to complete -- and in some cases, even begin -- the tests.

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News File Photo

The New York State Legislature has approved a measure that ends a mandate that teacher evaluations be based on the results of their students’ standardized tests.

WBFO file photo

The Democratic candidates for governor — incumbent Andrew Cuomo and challenger Cynthia Nixon — have different views on spending money on the state’s schools.

Governor's Office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is enjoying solid support from the leaders of most of the major unions in New York as he runs for a third term in office. But Cuomo’s relationship with organized labor was not always so sunny.


A newly formed group is reaching out to public worker union members in New York, informing them of their rights — under the recently decided U.S. Supreme Court Janus case — to opt out of their unions. But union leaders say the organization is a front group for anti-union billionaires.

New York’s union leaders are condemning the U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the right of a worker to not pay union dues. But a newly passed state law might mitigate the effects of Janus v. AFSCME.

Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

The state’s largest teachers union brought bagpipe players and a brass band to New York's Capitol to push for a bill to decouple teacher evaluations from the results of standardized tests.

The business of the evenly divided New York State Senate remains stalled, as advocacy groups pressed for their bills to be acted on before the session ends in two weeks.

Karen DeWitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

"Well, Yogi Berra said, ' Its not over 'til it's over.'"

Carl Paladino has filed a complaint with the state court system regarding his removal from the Buffalo School Board last year. It targets a judge who heard his case and her husband.

File Photo / WBFO News

Thousands of New York State students had a tough time taking state-issued English Language Arts tests on Wednesday.

NYSUT / Flickr

New York State United Teachers and its largest local affiliate, the United Federation of Teachers, are taking newly approved rules for charter school teachers to court.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Some of the state’s top ranking education officials are condemning a vote by a State University of New York committee that would weaken regulations for teachers at some charter schools.

NYSUT raising funds for Hurricane Harvey recovery

Aug 29, 2017
Photo from Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Hurricane Harvey has shut down the nation's seventh-largest public school district in the nation.  The Houston school district will remain closed at least the rest of the week due to the devastation caused by the hurricane damage and massive flooding in Houston and southeast Texas.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says New York State's largest teachers union wants to offer assistance. 

File Photo / WBFO News

The State University of New York board members overseeing charter schools are in the midst of a public comment period on whether charter school teachers should be allowed to have fewer qualifications than public school teachers.

New York State Education Department

The results of this year’s Common Core-related standardized tests show scores for New York’s schoolchildren inching up. About one-fifth of the children boycotted the tests altogether because of continued controversy over the Common Core learning standards.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

New York State's largest teachers union was once a powerful force behind the opt-out movement. But with an expected shift of leadership as the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) leader won't seek reelection, will it reshape education policy?  WBFO's Senior Reporter Eileen Buckley and Buffalo News Reporter Tiffany Lankes will discuss the issue in this week's Press Pass, which we hosted on Facebook Live for the first time Monday.

NYSUT claims charters have too much cash

Mar 27, 2017
WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

The state's largest teacher union is crying foul over potentially more state funding for charter schools.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the union claims charter schools are "flush" with cash and do not need more public dollars. 

WBFO File Photo

Today's Martin Luther King Day brings a protest against school board member and developer Carl Paladino.

WBFO file photo by Eileen Buckley

The Buffalo Teachers Federation and New York State United Teachers field a lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Albany Tuesday against the receivership law. In November, State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia issued a ruling that Buffalo Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash has the power to impose changes at five persistently struggling schools without union approval. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley spoke with both unions about the legal battle.

Teachers to lead social justice rally

Jan 18, 2016
Photo from the Olean Teachers Association Twitter page.

The New York State United Teachers Southwest Regional and the Olean Teachers Association holds an annual march and rally on this Martin Luther King Day.  WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley says this year's event will highlight the hardships of wage inequality and struggling public schools.

WBFO News File Photo

The state’s education commissioner says no new laws are needed to reverse a proposal in this year’s state budget tying teacher performance reviews more closely to standardized tests.