Statement of New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert Schneider on the State Budget
CONTACT: David Albert
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $826 million increase in school aid represents a starting point for negotiations with the state Legislature, though the proposal represents less than half of the estimated $2 billion school districts need to maintain educational programs and expand learning opportunities.
We are particularly encouraged by the governor’s mention of additional funding for prekindergarten, afterschool programs, and early college high school programs, as well as his aggressive efforts to protect students from the health consequences associated with vaping.
We have concerns about the impact on school districts of consolidating several expense-based aid formulas, given that these aid categories are designed so that lower wealth districts receive higher reimbursement rates.
We await further details and timing on the governor’s proposed restructuring of the way school aid is distributed. The current foundation aid formula should be updated to measure factors such as poverty more accurately, but fully funding foundation aid at the levels intended when the formula was first enacted in 2007 would go a long way toward accomplishing the governor’s objective: ensuring high-needs districts – indeed, all districts – receive adequate state aid.
With this year’s allowable tax levy increase below 2%, schools will be watching Albany closely for sufficient aid to support vital educational programs and services.
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