Speaker Carl Heastie and Education Committee Chair Michael Benedetto today announced the approved State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2020-21 allocates $27.9 billion in school aid. Through the combination of state support and funding from the recently passed federal stimulus package, an agreement was reached to hold the line on school funding, despite uncertain fiscal times.
"The Assembly Majority has continually fought for funding for our public schools because we know they are the foundation for success for our children," said Speaker Heastie. "Despite the challenges we are facing, we fought tirelessly to maintain the critical funding our students need in this budget. In these uncertain times, we will continue to fight to provide New York’s students with a high-quality education, regardless of their zip code."
"As a former educator, I understand firsthand the vital role that public schools play in shaping the future of our children and how important they are to working families," said Assemblymember Benedetto. "In the face of this public health emergency and the financial challenges it presents, we have fought to maintain the educational resources that students need to be successful."
"New Yorkers in communities across the state depend on local libraries to do research, find jobs and enjoy stories with their children," said Library and Education Technology Committee Chair Sean Ryan. "Now more than ever, families need access to these critical resources."
The approved budget will maintain Foundation Aid at $18.4 billion for School Year (SY) 2020-21, the same level as last year.
The budget will also provide $10 million in funding for mental health services in schools, which will be crucial in the year ahead.
Four 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. This year, the SFY 2020-21 enacted budget includes $18 million in ongoing funding for My Brother's Keeper programs, for a total of $90 million in funding since the program's creation. An additional $800,000 for the program is included for the Office of Family and Community Engagement at the State Education Department.
The enacted budget will also restore the following:
The spending plan includes a total of $18.5 million for bilingual education grants, and $385,000 for training programs for teachers in bilingual/multi-lingual education.
Libraries provide access to critical resources in communities across the state. The enacted budget will restore $2.5 million in aid to public libraries, for a total of $94.1 million.
Additionally, the budget will restore $250,000 for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and $75,000 for the Langston Hughes Community Library.