I am proud that the Assembly’s 2017-18 budget proposal, which includes an increase of $1.8 billion in funding for public schools, continues the Assembly Majority’s longstanding dedication to ensuring that each and every student gets the sound, basic education that is their right and that our state constitution guarantees them.
The Assembly’s budget provides a total of $26.3 billion in education funding, an increase of 7.4 percent – over last year. In addition, the Assembly’s proposal rejects the Executive proposal to repeal the Foundation Aid formula, and makes a commitment to phase in the remaining Foundation Aid over four years, adjusting and updating the formula to ensure fairness for students of color, students in poverty, and immigrant students, who for ten years were denied the funding that would improve outcomes.
The Assembly plan would increase Foundation Aid by $1.4 billion for the 2017-18 school year for a total of $17.8 billion, which is $1 billion more than the executive plan. The Assembly plan also distinguishes Community Schools Aid as an independent category to ensure Foundation Aid and Community Schools each receive adequate funding.
I call on the Senate to join with the Assembly and honor our responsibility to enact the existing Foundation Aid formula that is need-based and fair, distributing funding to school districts, across the state, including East Ramapo and Ossining, based upon students in poverty, the number of English language learners and students with disabilities. If we invest in our children, our schools and our teachers by providing equal educational opportunities and the resources they need to succeed, we strengthen our communities and our democracy.