Speaker Carl Heastie and Education Committee Chair Michael Benedetto today announced the approved State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2021-22 Budget will include $29.1 billion in funding to General Support for Public Schools (GSPS), an increase of $3.1 billion, or 12 percent, over the 2020-21 School Year (SY).
In addition to state funding, New York has received over $12 billion in federal funding to address pandemic related education costs, including but not limited to remediating learning loss, ensuring that school facilities are properly equipped to keep students and staff safe, purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean facilities, purchasing education technology, providing mental health services and support, and addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English language learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care.
“The Assembly Majority has fought tirelessly to ensure every student in New York has access to a quality education, and we recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic posed many challenges for our schools and our students,” said Speaker Heastie. “We must ensure our children do not suffer as a result of these challenges. That is why we fought to ensure that federal funding for schools is used to supplement – not supplant – state funding.”
“Our schools and our students have been faced with unprecedented challenges in the wake of this global health crisis,” said Assemblymember Benedetto. “My colleagues and I in the Assembly Majority fought tirelessly to ensure that federal funding was not used to supplant state funding, and that our schools and our students have the resources they need to overcome the challenges they face.”
The enacted budget includes $19.8 billion in Foundation Aid and provides a multi-year commitment to fully fund Foundation Aid over the next three years.
The approved plan also makes transportation costs related to delivering food, educational materials, and internet connectivity as well as transportation standby costs reimbursable. The standby costs would be reimbursable through May 7, 2020.
The enacted budget includes a multi-year investment in prekindergarten, including $105 million for this year. Of this funding, $90 million will be allocated to low and medium wealth school districts with a low number of state funded prekindergarten slots and $15 million will be through a request for proposal process and will pay $10,000 per prekindergarten slot.
The approved budget maintains funding for Community School Aid at $250 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.
Five years ago, 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. The SFY 2021-22 Budget includes $18 million in ongoing funding for My Brother's Keeper programs, for a total of $108 million in funding since the program's creation.