Assembly Assistant Speaker Rhoda Jacobs (D-Flatbush) announced she helped pass a 2012-13 state budget that increases school aid by $805 million and increases community college base aid for the first time in five years (A.9057-D).
Keeping the promise: Investing in education
Assemblywoman Jacobs said the final budget increases school aid 4 percent – or $805 million. That includes a $111.5 million increase in Foundation Aid, a $400 million increase in the Gap Elimination Adjustment restoration and a full restoration of $239 million for expense-based aids. Additionally, $125 million will be available through a competitive grant process. The final budget also:
- restores $10.2 million to teacher resource and training centers;
- increases non-public school aid by $7 million, for a total of $123.6 million;
- increases aid to public libraries by $3.9 million, providing $82.9 million in total funding;
- increases adult literacy education by $1 million for a total of $5.2 million;
- provides $3 million in additional payments to New York City for the transportation costs of students who remain at school until 5 p.m. or later for regularly scheduled academic programs; and
- provides $1 million for the Missing Children Program.
“Success starts in the classroom,” said Ms. Jacobs. “By increasing school aid, something the Assembly Majority has led the fight on and promised to do, we provide our children with the best possible education, better preparing our students for the jobs of the future and enabling them to thrive for years to come.”
The Assemblywoman added that the final budget authorizes school districts to use excess Employee Benefit Accrued Liability Reserve (EBALR) funds to maintain educational programming. Additionally, it rejects a proposal to shift costs for the Preschool Special Education program onto local school districts.
Preserving higher education funding
Recognizing the critical role that community colleges play in job training and retraining, the Assembly Majority promised to increase state support to the state’s public community colleges. The final budget increases support to $2,272 per-FTE student for a total of $22.1 million for SUNY community colleges and $9.1 million for CUNY community colleges. The base aid increase is $150 per-FTE student, the first community college base aid increase in five years.
In addition, the budget proposal provides $1.6 million to SUNY child-care centers, a $653,000 restoration, and $1.3 million to CUNY child-care centers, a $544,000 restoration.
“It’s imperative that we protect the value of a community college education,” Ms. Jacobs said. “Community colleges are where many bright students get started on the path to workforce success, so we need to keep that opportunity within reach of hardworking families.”
Additionally, the 2012-13 state budget restores:
- $27.8 million to be distributed equally among the three SUNY teaching hospitals;
- nearly $3.5 million to the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), providing $24.3 million;
- $1.7 million to Liberty Partnerships, providing $12.5 million;
- $1 million to the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), providing $10.8 million; and
- $778,000 to the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), providing $8.2 million.
“New York’s public colleges and universities offer a quality education with an affordable price tag – giving hardworking families the best of both worlds. With these vital increases in funding, we ensure that our public college system remains the best bargain in the country” concluded Assemblywoman Jacobs.