Costly Lesson: NY $15 Minimum Wage Hits School Budgets Hard

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A proposal to enact a $15 minimum wage in New York could cost state school districts $276 Million, according to a report released Friday.

The findings were released by the New York State Association of School Business Officials. The report found the minimum wage proposal would cost school districts at least $276 million, according the Associated Press. The increased costs would be a result of 30,000 school employees getting higher wages.

The increased costs will have a profound financial impact on schools, directly resulting in higher taxes. Currently the state minimum wage is $8.75 an hour. Cuomo first announced the proposed increase Sept. 10. The plan is to gradually bring the minimum wage to $15 in New York City by 2018 and statewide by 2021.

If successful, New York could become the first state with a $15 minimum wage. Florida and Massachusetts are also considering increasing their minimum wage to $15.

There is significant dispute of what type of impact a $15 minimum wage will have. Supporters argue the $15 minimum wage will help the poor by allowing them to more easily afford basic necessities while critics say it may actually hurt the poor by limiting job opportunities. Even the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) agrees any increase of the minimum wage will likely result in at least some job loss.

Nationwide, the union-backed groups Fight for $15 has led much of the effort. It has utilized media marketing campaigns and rallies. It is highly influenced and funded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

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