Proposed Budget Detailed
January 28, 2013
The Governor proposed his executive budget on Jan. 22. Overall, it was a status quo budget that did not contain a lot of surprises. I was pleased to see more state aid provided to schools. However, I want to ensure that aid goes to schools that need it most. As was proposed last week, all of our Upstate schools are set to receive state aid increases. Considering previous budgets, this is welcome news. However, it would be nice to have--once and for all--an equitable school aid formula that would ensure more aid is directed toward schools that need it most. The Governor estimates total spending to be $136.5 billion, a $2.5 billion increase from 2012-13. This includes federal funding. The State Operating Funds spending is $90.8 billion, an increase of $1.4 billion. (State Operating Funds exclude federal funds and long-term capital spending.) No new taxes were proposed. I am concerned about how some of these programs—such restructuring pension costs, all-day pre-k and longer school days —will be sustainable for localities. We must continue to eliminate government waste and have services that we can afford, that work for the people, as well as create policy that truly make it easier to do business in this state. I wanted to share with you some of the details in the budget so you have the facts about what is on the table for the Legislature and the public. We have until April 1 to pass a budget. In recent years, we have passed a budget on time, and I hope we can do so again this year. Education aid increased 4.4 percent, or $300 per student. This is a total increase of $889 million. Some of the ideas proposed include:
- Creating a full-day pre-K program targeted toward higher need students in low-wealth school districts with a competitive grant process. ($25 million)
- Extend learning time by 25%, also through competitive grant process ($20 million).
- The Governor proposes turning schools into "community hubs" that include social, health and other services as well as after-school programming.
- Reward high-performing teachers with stipends. ($11 million)
- Invest in early college high school programs (additional $4 million)
- Create a bar exam for teachers.
- Target school aid to high-needs districts.
- Innovation Hotspot and Tech Transfer. These locations would foster commercialization of inventions--bringing them from academia to the private sector. We've seen some of this take place already in Syracuse University, ESF and at Cornell, just to name a few. The budget proposes to set aside $50 million in Venture Capital Funding to provide seed funding to new businesses that take research to the marketplace.
- Regional Councils will be funded again. This third round of funding proposal sets aside $150 million for the grant process.
- NY Works: $165 million for capital grants, aimed to support job creation, retention and expansion.
- Market NY: Marketing plan for New York-produced goods and includes Taste NY.