Assemblymember Monica P. Wallace (D-Lancaster) announced that she helped pass the Assembly’s 2018-19 state budget proposal, which increases funding for public schools and invests in local libraries.
“Western New York’s public schools need their fair share of funding to provide our kids with a quality education that sets them up for success,” Wallace said. “I came to Albany to ensure our government truly works for us, and that means getting our schools and teachers the resources they need to make sure all our kids shine.”
The Assembly’s budget proposal increases funding for public schools by $1.5 billion – or 5.9 percent – from last year for a total of $27.1 billion. It also increases Foundation Aid by $1.2 billion for a total of $18.4 billion. To start kids off on the right foot, the budget proposal also increases funding for pre-K grants to $50 million.
Nearly one-third of school districts in the Buffalo area saw a decrease in graduation rates in 2017. Erie County had a graduation rate of 71 percent for black students and 66 percent for Latino students, compared to a rate of 91 percent for white students. Moreover, statewide records show that only 26 percent of English language learners (ELL) graduate on time.1 The Assembly budget proposal invests in programs to support students of color and includes funding for schools with larger ELL populations so that every student, no matter where they live or what barrier they face, can succeed, noted Wallace.
Wallace also successfully advocated for additional library funding in the Assembly’s budget proposal. The proposal provides $95.6 million in library aid as well as an additional $50 million in library construction grants over the executive budget for a total of $64 million. Libraries are a vital community resource and provide a multitude of programs and educational resources for residents of all ages, Wallace added.