Speaker Carl Heastie and Education Committee Chair Michael Benedetto today announced the Assembly budget proposal allocates $28.4 billion in school aid, which is an increase of $1.6 billion or 6.3 percent over the 2018-19 School Year (SY). The plan reflects an investment of an additional $644 million over the executive proposal.
"Every child in New York deserves a high-quality public education, regardless of where they live," said Speaker Heastie. "Our spending plan reflects our continued commitment to providing students with the resources they need to thrive in school and beyond."
"The Assembly Majority recognizes that adequate funding is crucial to resolving inequities and shortfalls in our public schools," said Assemblymember Benedetto. "Our budget includes meaningful investments that will provide New York's school children a sound academic foundation for success."
"Libraries help promote lifelong learning and provide a wide range of vital services to communities across the state," said Libraries and Education Technology Chair Sean Ryan. "This budget reflects our recognition of the important role libraries play in the lives of New Yorkers."
The budget proposal would extend mayoral control of the New York City School District for three years until June 30, 2022. The Assembly is committed to holding public hearings and other informational forums throughout the City of New York to assess the effectiveness of mayoral control of the New York City School District, and hear from stakeholders on ways to address the inequities in our schools and improve student performance. For each of the three years the provisions of mayoral control are extended, the Assembly Education Committee will prepare and make public a report of its findings and recommendations.
The Assembly proposes increasing Foundation Aid to $18.9 billion for SY 2019-20, an increase of $1.16 billion. This reflects an increase of $823 million over the executive's proposal. The Assembly's budget proposal would also fully phase in Foundation Aid over the next three years.
Also included is an additional $50 million for Community Schools Aid, for a total of $250 million. Community schools take a holistic approach to educating students by acting as community hubs and offering academic, health, mental health, social services and afterschool programs to students and their families. An additional $4 million is also included to promote critical mental health services in schools.
The budget also restores $2 million for the Supportive Schools Grant Program to help districts improve school climate, safety and implement the Dignity for All Students Act. The act seeks to provide the state's public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment and bullying.
The Assembly's spending plan also includes $30 million for grants for prekindergarten, and would provide a five year appropriation for the Statewide Universal Full Day Prekindergarten Program.
Three 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 Assembly has allocated $18 million in ongoing funding for My Brother's Keeper programs, for a total of $74 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 Assembly proposal includes $15 million to help homeless students. It also includes a total of $19.5 million to increase bilingual education grants, and $770,000 for training programs for teachers in bilingual/multi-lingual education. In addition, the Assembly provides $1.5 million to increase funding for Adult Literacy Education, which helps community organizations provide literacy and English language instruction across the state.
Among other things, the Assembly Budget also includes funding for the following programs:
Libraries are the cornerstone of our communities. They ensure that everyone has access to the information and technology they need to succeed. The Assembly's plan would restore $5 million to Aid to Public Libraries, for a total of $96.6 million for SFY 2019-20.
The Assembly would also restore $20 million to library construction grants, for a total of $34 million.
Other Assembly restorations include $250,000 for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and $75,000 for the Langston Hughes Community Library.
The proposal would also allow certain high need libraries to receive capital grants for up to 90 percent of project costs, and would make permanent provisions that allow all high need libraries to receive library capital grants for up to 75 percent of project costs.