New York’s largest teachers union is planning to hold a strike on Friday over the state’s education budget.
Union members voted Thursday night to vote to authorize a strike, which is considered the last resort by the union’s leadership, after state lawmakers and Gov.
Andrew Cuomo failed to reach an agreement on how to fund the state education system.
The strike could push New York schools to the brink of bankruptcy.
Teachers voted Thursday to authorize the strike, and the union says it will vote on the motion at 5 p.m. on Friday.
“It is a historic day in the history of New York State’s public school system,” said New York Teachers Union President Daniel B. Schreiber in a statement.
“We are not going to rest until we have a fair, transparent and effective state budget that works for our teachers, our students and our communities.
The teachers have spoken and we will continue to speak.”
Budgets have been tight in recent years as the state grapples with budget cuts, a spike in teacher absenteeism, and rising enrollment.
But the union said Thursday that teachers have not been getting enough raises.
The teachers union also says it is seeking a $2.2 billion increase in funding for teacher benefits, including benefits that provide paid time off and health care.
It said it would also increase state aid to school districts to pay for classroom renovations.
The state’s Department of Education did not immediately return a request for comment.
The union says Cuomo and his Democratic successor, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, have failed to deliver on a $1.9 billion education bond.
The governor has vowed to keep the state on a path to a balanced budget in 2017, and has said he will use a $4.5 billion bond package to cover the costs of the budget shortfall.
Cuomo has also pledged to cut taxes, expand Medicaid and expand preschool and daycare programs.