Advocacy Alert: State Budget Negotiations Continue
March 27, 2019
With just over four days remaining before the start of the state fiscal year, state legislators and Governor Cuomo continue to work on the state budget. This morning, the Joint Education Subcommittee met and announced some areas of consensus in the budget bill.
The parties have agreed to allow school districts to enter into "piggyback" contracts for transportation services. This NYSSBA supported mandate relief proposal will allow districts to share services at any point in the contract of the initiating district.
In addition, the parties have agreed to changes to the schedule of building condition surveys, and have come to an agreement about operating aid for the State Education Department. The amount and purpose of that aid was not made available.
However, many of the most contentious issues remain open, including the amount of the Foundation Aid increase, and the fate of the Executive's proposal to redistribute Foundation Aid among school buildings.
It is not too late to reach out. Consider contacting your legislators and letting them know what your district needs.
Some issues still outstanding include:
- Significantly increasing Foundation Aid over the Executive proposal
- Rejection of the proposed school-based funding redistribution plan
- Rejection of the proposed consolidation of reimbursement aids into a block grant, or "services aid"
- Rejection of the proposed reduction in building aid reimbursement rates
- Rejecting a permanent tax cap or any extension until common sense adjustments are made
- Updating the BOCES District Superintendent salary cap
- Increasing the cap on aidable BOCES CTE salaries and special services aid for non-component districts
- Establishing a renewed period of building aid and transportation aid forgiveness
- Authorizing the creation of a TRS reserve fund
- Repealing the building level budget reports adopted last year, as proposed by the Senate
- Making prekindergarten transportation aidable, as proposed by the Assembly
- Making space for health, mental health and dental health services building aid eligible, as proposed by the Assembly
- Making school bus stop arm cameras transportation aidable, as proposed by the Senate.
Make your district's voice heard! Consider sending a letter on behalf of your board to your legislators advocating for your board's priorities. A sample letter is included below.
For assistance identifying your district's state level representatives, please contact Belinda Heckler, Governmental Relations Representative and Grassroots Advocacy Manager at Belinda.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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