2016-17 New York State Enacted Budget Analysis

2016-17 New York State Enacted Budget Analysis

April 12, 2016 Legislative & Political Updates

2016-17 New York State Enacted Budget Analysis

ALBANY (April 11, 2016) — This budget fails to address fundamental educational inequality based on both race and income. The Foundation Aid increase simply does not come close to meeting the needs for the one out of two students living in poverty or to reversing the racial inequities that are entrenched in our educational system. Every year the state has another excuse for why it is not fulfilling its constitutional obligation to finance a ‘sound basic education’ for every child, and once again our children are the ones paying the price. The final product simply does not get the job done. The one important exception is the community schools program which will provide an innovative reform that will make a massive difference in the lives of students and families. We give Speaker Carl Heastie, Assembly Education Chair Cathy Nolan and the Assembly Majority credit for fighting the good fight. We also wish to recognize Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes for leading the way in demanding high quality community schools.

The total aid increase of $1.35 billion is $400 million less than the 2008 record increase of $1.7 billion. The struggle for educational equity is focused on ensuring that high needs schools get enough funding which means Foundation Aid. AQE called for $1.47 billion in Foundation Aid, the Board of Regents called for $1.3 billion and the Assembly’s budget proposal was for $1.1 billion. But the enacted budget included only $627 million in Foundation Aid. To the credit of the Assembly Majority, of the Foundation Aid delivered a higher proportion than usual to high need districts.

Unfortunately the enacted budget included no multi-year phase-in of the full $4.4 billion in Foundation Aid that is owed to schools. The Assembly budget proposed a four-year phase in of full foundation aid, but both the Senate the Governor rejected such a plan. Now we must demand that the remaining $3.9 billion is paid over the next three years.

The Gap Elimination Adjustment was fully restored, but this does very little for most high need districts.

Community schools are innovative schools that provide social, emotional and health supports as well as strong academics. The budget includes $175 million for community schools, this is a key victory for expanding opportunity in poor communities and communities of color. Community schools are schools that combine services for the students and their families and include substantial parent and community engagement.

Education School Aid Highlights:

  • $1.35 Billion Total School Aid Increase
  • $627 Million for Foundation Aid
  • $100 Million for Community Schools ($100 Million is part of Foundation Aid)
  • $434 Million for Gap Elimination Adjustment
  • $340 Million Expense Based Aids
  • $75 Million is in a separate funding stream to be administered by the Commissioner of Education
  • $22 Million for Pre-K for 3-year-olds (in districts that already serve 4- year-olds in half or full day) and $2 million for Pre-K Quality Initiatives
  • $18 Million for My Brother’s Keeper targeted to educational opportunities for boys and young men of color and $2 Million for a NYS Office of Parent & Family Engagement

To read a more detailed summary, click here.

To read a comparison of the budget proposals with the 2016-17 enacted budget, click here.

For the distribution of community school funding, click here.

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