New York State School Boards Association

2016 Executive Budget and School Aid Runs: Advocacy Alert

January 13, 2016

NYSSBA First Look: School Aid Runs and Executive Budget Proposal

Today, Governor Cuomo delivered his 6th State of the State address, and 2nd merged speech in which he released his executive budget proposal at the same time as his address.

Legislative leaders and advocacy groups alike set expectations high. Speaker Heastie opened session by referencing last year’s record aid increase and called for more equity in education funding.  Majority Leader Flanagan pledged to end the GEA or hold up the budget. NYSSBA called for a minimum $2.3 billion aid increase overall. View below NYSSBA's executive budget recommendations.

In today’s address, the funding proposal came in below expectations. The governor outlined a plan that would provide $991 million in additional support for school districts, $863 million of which is devoted to general operating aid streams.

  • Reimbursement for Expense-Based Aids - Increase of $408 million
  • Additional Foundation Aid - Increase of $266 million
  • Gap Elimination Adjustment Restoration - Increase of $189 million
  • Community Schools Aid - Increase of $100 million
  • Empire State Prekindergarten Program for Three-Year-Olds - Increase of $22 million
  • Early College High Schools - Increase of $4 million
  • QUALITYstartsNY - Increase of $2 million

TOTAL $ 991 million

School aid runs can be viewed below: 

In addition to the overall state aid proposal, the governor touched on a number of other issues and expenses including:

  • A moderate expansion of 3 year old pre-k and an overhaul of how pre-k grants are awarded.
  • Funding to support struggling, persistently struggling and other high need districts to create community schools.
  • Expansion of early college programs and career and technical education.
  • Provision of $18.6 million to pay down districts’ prior year claims.
  • Convert STAR from a property tax exemption to a state income tax credit for new homeowners.
  • Capping STAR benefits at current levels for property taxpayers.
  • Creation of a $150 million education tax credit program.
  • Provision of additional state funding to charter schools
  • A 4% increase ($6-7 million) increase in mandated services aid to non-public schools.

The proposals released today will set the stage for the 2016 budget negotiations. The governor has laid out his positions, and in the coming weeks NYSSBA and all education advocates must work with the executive and both houses of the legislature to identify those areas in which changes and additions must be made for our schools to be successful. We must work with all respective parties to ensure that those changes are included in the final enacted budget.

In the days to come, the NYSSBA Governmental Relations team will be further analyzing these proposals to provide you with a complete understanding of how districts will be affected.

Our full analysis will be presented during a webinar next Thursday, January 21 at noon, during which we will present our findings and be available to answer questions you may have. Registration information can be accessed below.

Read NYSSBA’s initial reaction below.

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