March 15, 2017

Assembly Budget Proposes More than $26 Billion in School Aid
Assembly Takes Steps to Meet Foundation Aid Obligation to New York's Neediest Schools

Speaker Carl Heastie and Education Committee Chair Cathy Nolan today announced the Assembly budget allocation of $26.5 billion in school aid, which is an increase of $1.8 billion or 7.4 percent, over the 2016-17 School Year (SY).

This proposal reflects an investment of an additional $887 million over the Executive proposal.

"The Assembly Majority has always been committed to funding our schools - we know there is no greater or more meaningful investment than the education of our children," said Heastie. "And with public education across the country under attack, New York must make critical investments to meet our areas of greatest need including Foundation Aid, community schools and My Brother's Keeper."

"The Foundation Aid formula is critical to ensuring that every student in New York gets a sound basic education," said Nolan. "The future of our state is dependent on every school providing an equitable education, and that is why we continue to make this a top priority in the Assembly Budget."

The Assembly rejects the Executive's repeal of the Foundation Aid formula. The proposal increases Foundation Aid to $17.8 billion for SY 2017-18, an increase of $1.4 billion. This provides initial funding for a four-year phase in of the State's obligation for our neediest schools pursuant to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, bringing all school districts to at least 50 percent of their total Foundation Aid.

The Assembly continues its commitment to community schools which 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. As a result, the Assembly maintains the $150 million commitment in Community School Aid for school districts with struggling schools, an increase of $50 million over last year. It also restores $25 million in capital funding. An additional $10 million is included for support services for homeless students.

The Assembly proposes $847 million in funding for prekindergarten and provides for a five-year financial assistance program for school districts offering new full day kindergarten. This includes $50 million for new prekindergarten slots, an increase of $45 million over the Executive proposal.

Last year, New York became the first state in the nation to fund the My Brother's Keeper initiative. The initiative focuses on family and community engagement, professional development, the expansion and development of exemplary school practices and models, and addresses issues related to restorative justice and racial disparities in education. This year's proposal includes $19.2 million in ongoing funding for the program to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color by closing and eliminating opportunity gaps, and $800,000 for the office of family and community engagement at the State Education Department.

An additional $25 million would be provided for Career and Technical Education Programs through Special Services and BOCES aid.

The proposal extends mayoral control of schools in New York City for seven years until June 30, 2024.

Grant funding in the amount of $15 million is available for school districts with growing enrollment of students who are English language learners.

The Assembly's proposal also includes a comprehensive charter school proposal, which includes provisions related to increased transparency and reporting requirements, enrollment parity, accountability and student discipline.

The proposal also requires the Division of Budget to make immediately available the remainder of the $75 million Persistently Struggling Schools Transformation Grant funds.

The Assembly budget includes critical education funding for programs including: