New York State School Boards Association

Advocacy Alert: State of the State and Budget Release

January 15, 2019

Earlier today, Governor Cuomo presented his combined State of the State and Budget address. While there was relatively little mention of education in the address itself, the comments the Governor did make were concerning. The Governor announced that he would propose a $956 million (3.6%) increase in education funding. However, the actual formula based aid increase proposal is only $748 million (approximately 2.8%), $338 million of which is Foundation Aid.  The Governor also proposed the adoption of a state mandated building level aid distribution mechanism.

The Governor attempted to justify this proposal by citing data from the building level budget reports that were adopted, at his urging, last year. The Governor included language in his 2018 - 2019 budget that would have given the state approval over some school district budgets claiming such oversight was needed because the Governor believed there were inequities. Although that provision was not included in the final budget, the building level reports were.  However, only 76 districts (approximately 11%) were required to report in year one, so it would seem premature to advance a statewide proposal of this nature.

Details on the proposal are still not available. NYSSBA Governmental Relations will be relentless in protecting the autonomy of local boards of education and the voters that approve their budgets.

While the Education budget bill has not yet been released, the 2019-20 school aid runs have been and can be accessed at the link below.

The runs indicate that the Foundation Aid Increase is approximately 1.9%, which is inclusive of an additional $50 million Community Schools Foundation Aid set aside, bringing the restricted total for this set aside to $250 million.

Supporting materials for the speech and the budget indicate that the language, when released, will include the following additional proposals:

  • Consolidating most expense-based aids into a single formula with a cap on growth.
  • Changes to APPR that would eliminate the mandate to use the state assessments as the measure of student growth. It is not specified how the district would select the assessment to be used.
  • A variety of school safety proposals including a "red flag" provision that would allow school personnel to file for court orders to prevent potentially dangerous individuals from purchasing or possessing a firearm until a safety determination could be made, and  mandatory training for school resource officers.
  • Making the Tax Cap permanent.
  • Making Election Day a State holiday, which would likely result in mandatory school closures.
  • Extending NYC Mayoral Control for three years.

NYSSBA Governmental Relations will provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.

NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team will continue to report on these and other issues. For more information, visit our Key Issues Page.

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