ASSEMBLY RELEASES ONE HOUSE BUDGET PROPOSAL - ADVOCACY ALERT
March 10, 2015
Today the New York State Assembly released their one house budget bills. These bills stake out the negotiating position for their house as budget conference committees begin. Formal negotiations are slated to begin as early as this week.
View the Assembly Press Release
Dubbed the “Families First” budget proposal, the Assembly proposal includes a number of key components called for by NYSSBA since the release of the Executive Budget. A thorough analysis of the bills is underway by NYSSBA governmental relations team, but initial review reveals that the bills include a state aid distribution formulae that dramatically increases foundation aid and further reduces the GEA.
The Assembly proposed a state aid increase of nearly $1.8 billion for 2015-16, representing a figure that’s more than $700 million above the Governor’s proposal.
The Assembly’s allocation would:
- Increase Foundation Aid by $1 billion, with focus on low-wealth districts, and would ensure that all districts see some level of increase in that category.
- Include more than $450 million in GEA restoration, eliminating nearly half of the current GEA. Restoration efforts would focus on districts with high-need students, as well as those with recent enrollment increases.
- Fully-fund expense-based aids, such as transportation aid and BOCES aid.
The Assembly rejected the Governor’s “Opportunity Agenda” almost in its entirety. The one noteworthy component their house retained is an extension of Mayoral Control over the NYC schools, though the Assembly proposes an extension for 7 years rather than 3.
Also noteworthy is that the Assembly responded to the call of NYSSBA and other education advocates for the inclusion of new initiatives including:
- Funding to support English language learners.
- Language to increase funding for Career and Technical Education through an increase in the BOCES salary cap (though at a lower level than proposed) and special services aid.
- Language to guarantee special act school districts a tuition increase in 2015-16.
NYSSBA governmental relations staff will continue to fight to ensure that NYSSBA’s priorities are reflected in the final enacted budget.
View NYSSBA’s 2015 Legislative Priorities
The one house budget is not the final step but it is helpful to know that the Assembly’s starting point for negotiations includes standing up against the inclusion of proposals such as school and district receivership, expansion of charter schools, the education tax credit and a 50% student performance measure and independent observers in APPR.
Be sure to thank your Assembly member when you see him/her next week at our Capital Conference and encourage them to consider our full agenda.
To REGISTER for the Capital Conference
NYSSBA staff will share information on the Senate one house when it is released. Until then, stay visible and vocal. There are many more opportunities to advocate for your district and public education before the enactment of the final budget.
View the Joint Budget Schedule
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