On the BACK of the ballot on Election Day, you will be asked to vote on whether or not New York State should hold a Constitutional Convention.
The NYS PTA Board of Directors unanimously voted to oppose the Constitutional Convention, and URGES A NO VOTE.
In NYS, there are two ways to amend the state constitution: (1) either by holding a constitutional convention and having voters approve on the proposed changes or (2) by passing constitutional amendments in the legislature which are then voted on by the electorate.
NYS has held constitutional conventions over the years: 1776/1777, 1801, 1821, 1846, 1867/1868, 1915, 1938, and 1967. However, the more common and fiscally responsible way to amend the constitution is by amendment with a vote of the legislature and vote by the electorate, which has happened nearly 200 times in our State history.
Why NYS PTA Opposes the Convention
Joining many other groups, we oppose the Constitutional Convention.
New York is one of the few states to list public education as a constitutional right in our state constitution. If the Convention occurs, it is possible that the right to a sound basic education will be removed from the state constitution. This would be devastating for our schools and children.
A Convention could result in potential losses of human and social services, and cuts to environmental protections. New York pension protections are also at risk.
Further, the Constitutional Convention is estimated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Isn’t there a better way to spend these funds, especially when our school children are still owed more than three billion dollars in school aid?