FOR RELEASE: April 7, 2021
NYSSBA appreciates the commitment to our students’ ongoing educational needs – as well as the extraordinary needs brought on by the global pandemic – shown in the 2021-22 budget approved by the governor and the state Legislature.
Paired with approximately $12 billion in funding from the recent federal stimulus packages, this budget will go a long way to help school districts bolster academic enrichment, social-emotional supports and facilities needs as we recover and move forward.
A $1.4 billion increase in foundation aid will strengthen support for individual districts by at least 2% this year and put all districts on track for full funding of foundation aid within three years. This is a goal that has been elusive for far too long in New York and that NYSSBA has called for consistently. We applaud this solid commitment to the principle that the quality of a child’s education should never depend on a family’s ZIP code.
With this clear commitment to equity, our state is poised to move forward on many issues identified by our members as priorities for students and local school districts. We are gratified by our lawmakers’ investments in expansion of pre-kindergarten, and we look forward to continued progress in providing greater broadband access to all students, regardless of their geographic location or income.
NYSSBA appreciates the Legislature’s rejection of proposals that would have consolidated or eliminated several important expense-based aids, including reimbursement for programs and services provided to students through BOCES. And we welcome the approval of reimbursement for some of the unexpected transportation costs incurred as the COVID pandemic stormed in last year.
Overall, we are elated by the emphasis our state leaders have placed on enhancing opportunity and support for all students. We believe this will place our districts in a better position to make a vigorous recovery in the months and years ahead.