March 10, 2016

Assembly Spending Plan Commits $2.1 Billion to Education
Budget Proposal Funds Community Schools and My Brother's Keeper Initiatives

Speaker Carl Heastie and Education Committee Chair Cathy Nolan today announced the Assembly's Families First budget allocation of $25.4 billion in School Aid which is an increase of $2.13 billion, or 9.2 percent, over the 2015-16 School Year (SY). This is the largest increase in school aid since the 2008-09 SY.

The Assembly proposal reflects an investment of an additional $1.2 billion over the Executive Proposal.

"Our children are our biggest priority. Whether it is New York City, Long Island, Central New York, Western New York or the North Country, children face the same challenges. And we must find ways to reach them, not only in the classroom, but at home as well," said Heastie. "The Assembly Majority will do everything we can to make sure that our children are given the tools that they need to succeed."

"This spending plan lives up to the Assembly Majority's long standing commitment to invest in education. We keep our promise to aid New York's neediest schools with significant funding for Foundation Aid. And at the same time, we are able to pursue new programs, such as My Brother's Keeper, that are critical to building a successful future for our children and young adults."

As part of the increase, $1.1 billion is dedicated to Foundation Aid, funding 25 percent of the State's total obligation of $4.4 billion for our neediest districts pursuant to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. The Assembly proposal also includes a final installment of $434 million to complete the restoration to the Gap Elimination Adjustment.

An additional $100 million has been included for Community Schools Aid for school districts with struggling schools, for a total of $200 million. Community schools take a holistic approach to educating students by acting as community hubs and offering wrap around services including academic, health, mental health, social services and afterschool programs to students and their families. The concept also aims to increase parent and community engagement with the ultimate goal of boosting educational outcomes for students in our neediest areas.

An additional $10 million is included to help districts provide services to homeless students.

The proposal also includes $50 million, $42 million in education funding and $8 million in higher education funding, to implement My Brother's Keeper which is a program targeted at improving outcomes for boys and young men of color. The program would focus on family and community engagement, professional development, and the expansion and development of exemplary school practices and models as well as address issues related to restorative justice and racial disparities in education.

The Assembly proposes $807 million in funding for prekindergarten, an increase of $22 million over last year. It also provides a five-year financial assistance program for school districts offering new full day kindergarten.

The proposal extends mayoral control of the schools in New York City for seven years until June 30, 2023.

School districts with growing enrollment of students who are English language learners would be eligible for $10 million in new funding statewide.

An additional $20 million would be provided for Career and Technology Education Programs through special services and BOCES aid.

The Assembly budget includes critical education funding for programs including: