State Budget Follows Through on Commitment to Our Children

$533 million aid increase for NYC schools
April 9, 2008

Assemblymembers Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island), Janele Hyer-Spencer (D-East Shore/Brooklyn) and Matthew Titone (D-North Shore) announced the final state budget increases education funding by a record $1.72 billion, with a total investment of $21 billion. The spending plan includes a $533 million foundation aid increase for New York City schools, and continues the Assembly’s deep commitment to education.

“This budget provides important funding to New York City schools,” Cusick said. “The Assembly has helped work toward a plan that fulfills our unwavering promise to give all children a sound, basic education.”

Meeting the Commitment to CFE

Hyer-Spencer said the final state budget continues a commitment to the 4-year Campaign for Fiscal Equity plan.

“The budget moves toward the full implementation of the school foundation formula, which calls for stable and transparent funding for school districts,” Hyer-Spencer said. “And it reflects a second year of record school aid increases and continues our commitment to the tenets of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit – placing the focus on high-need school districts.”

Hyer-Spencer added that the final budget folds the Academic Achievement Grant for New York City into foundation aid.

Building Aid

The final budget rejects the 18-month lag for New York City building aid, instead seeking to ensure that building aid estimates are more accurate and that aid is issued in a timely manner. A proposal to offset New York City operating aid with increases in reimbursable aids was also rejected.

“If our children are to receive the quality education they need and deserve, we must ensure that they have adequate facilities in which to learn,” Titone said. “By cutting through the red tape, we help get the money where it’s needed most, when it’s needed most.”

Staying Committed to Universal Pre-K

Cusick said the final budget allocation for Universal Pre-K totals $450 million, an increase of $96 million over 2007-08. This expands the number of 4-year-old children attending pre-K from 93,000 up to 121,000, bringing New York even closer to achieving Universal Pre-K.

“All New York children should have access to the lasting benefits of attending pre-K,” Cusick said. “Studies show again and again that pre-K gives our children an advantage in student achievement, college enrollment and future earnings.”