Gabryszak: State Budget Delivers for Local Schools
Final state budget includes largest-ever school funding increase
April 9, 2008

Assemblymember Dennis Gabryszak (D-Cheektowaga) announced the final state budget makes a $21.4 billion investment in education funding – an increase of $1.75 billion over last year.

“Despite a daunting economic climate, we must continue to keep our commitment to ensuring that all children receive a sound education,” Gabryszak said. “The Assembly has helped to devise a responsible fiscal plan that will provide schools with the resources that they need to help our children succeed.”

Under the plan, school districts in Lancaster and Cheektowaga will receive a total of $104 million, including:

  • $12.8 million to Cheektowaga
  • $14.7 million to Maryvale
  • $13.2 million to Cleveland Hill
  • $16.8 million to Depew
  • $14.6 million to Cheektowaga-Sloan
  • $31.9 million to Lancaster

Staying Committed to Universal Pre-K

The final budget also includes $1.4 million in funding for Universal Pre-K in Lancaster and Cheektowaga school districts. This aid is part of a $450 million statewide allocation that will bring New York even closer to achieving Universal Pre-K by expanding the number of 4-year-old children attending pre-K from 93,000 up to 121,000.

“All New York children should reap the lasting benefits of attending pre-K,” Gabryszak said. “Studies show again and again that pre-K gives our children an advantage in student achievement, college enrollment and future earnings.”

Meeting the Commitment to CFE

Additionally, the final state budget continues a commitment to the 4-year Campaign for Fiscal Equity plan.

“This year’s budget moves toward the full implementation of the school foundation formula. This formula calls for stable and transparent funding for school districts in order to deliver a quality education for our students,” Gabryszak said. “The Assembly helps ensure that no high-need school district falls behind and that all school districts have the tools they require for students to succeed.”

Ensuring School Personnel Background Checks

The executive budget cut $500,000 from the Education Department’s Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability – which handles background checks for school personnel. The final budget restores that cut and includes an additional $600,000 for a total add of $1.1 million. This funding will assist school districts across the state in conducting fingerprinting and background checks for prospective employees of school districts and certain workers who might come into contact with students.

“Cutting funding to this office was simply not an option,” Gabryszak said. “We must take every precaution in order to keep our schools safe and provide our children with the best learning environment possible.”

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