Assemblymember Bronson Helps Pass Assembly Budget Proposal That Increases School Aid by $834 Million

Continuing his fight to ensure Monroe County schools receive adequate funding to provide students with a quality education, Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Henrietta) announced the Assembly passed a 2013-14 state budget proposal that includes an increase of $834 million in school aid above last year (E.182).

“In recent years, our schools have been hit with massive cuts, causing teacher layoffs, larger class sizes and a lack of proper resources,” Assemblymember Bronson said. “Many schools in our area are at their breaking point, and in the end, our children suffer the consequences. That’s why additional funding is vitally important.”

The proposal also maintains present law calculations for expense based aids, which provides an additional $228 million in the 2013-14 school year – bringing the total amount of state aid to $21.1 billion. The Assembly’s proposal boosts school aid more than $334 million above the executive budget proposal, Assemblymember Bronson noted.

In addition, the Assembly’s budget proposal:

  • continues its phase-in of Foundation Aid and increases it by $208 million;
  • restores $100 million to Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA);
  • restores $25 million in High Tax Aid;
  • preserves the full $25 million pre-K grant and modifies the grant to authorize new half-day and full-day slots;
  • restores $10.22 million to teacher resource and computer training centers; and
  • restores $1.5 million to the Center for Worker Education (CWE) program within Employment Preparation Education (EPE).

Furthermore, the Assembly budget proposal would increase support for Full Time Equivalent (FTE) students at SUNY community colleges by $150, bringing the total support to $2,422 per-FTE student. This marks the second consecutive increase in community college base aid.

In addition to the base aid support increase, the Assembly’s proposal provides a three percent increase in funding for college opportunity programs, including:

  • an increase of $728,040 to the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP);
  • an increase of $632,430 to the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP);
  • an increase of $551,340 to the Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) program;
  • an increase of $324,030 to the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP); and
  • an increases of $245,520 to the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP).

“Monroe Community College is one the most highly regarded schools of its kind in the state,” Assemblymember Bronson said. “We must keep community colleges affordable because for many they are the next step out of high school to building a successful career.”