Education Groups: Schools Need Minimum $1.5 Billion State Aid Increase Just to Maintain Programs
FOR RELEASE: January 16, 2014
CONTACT: John Yagielski
Release Report on Financing Public Education in New York State
The state Educational Conference Board (ECB) reports that aid to education would need to rise by a minimum of $1.5 billion in 2014-15 for schools to maintain current education programs.
The ECB also requests additional investments in two areas critical to preparing all students to be college and career-ready: Professional Development activities to implement shifts required by the Common Core and the expansion of universal Pre-kindergarten.
In its latest issue brief, "Financing Public Education in New York State," the ECB estimates that school districts will need to increase spending by $2.2 billion in 2014-15 merely to maintain current programs. This figure reflects moderate assumptions about cost increases necessary to maintain current educational programs and the limitation imposed by the tax cap on the ability to raise revenues from local sources.
"Our schools are in desperate need of these funds due to the impact of past cuts in state support and the limits on local support imposed by the state tax cap," stated ECB Chairman John Yagielski.
Total formula aid for schools in 2013-14 is below 2008-09 funding, and 75 percent of school districts are scheduled to receive less in state aid in 2013-14 than in 2008-09. An estimated 30,000 school district positions were lost over this period of time.
This year, a decrease in the inflation rate will reduce the amount of property taxes schools will be able to raise for the 2014-15 school year without exceeding the tax cap. As a result, the ECB believes the state needs to pay for at least two-thirds of the increased costs representing a state aid increase of $1.5 billion to allow schools to maintain existing programs and pay for new initiatives.
The ECB brief offers several other recommendations for state leaders:
The Educational Conference Board is comprised of organizations that represent school boards, parents, superintendents, teachers, principals, business officials and other educators.
To read a copy of the report: