Assemblywoman Jean-Pierre: State Budget Ensures Local Students Have the Resources They Need to Grow

Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Babylon) announced that she helped pass the 2018-19 state budget, which includes increased funding for education to help students succeed from the first day of pre-K through college graduation.

“Every student – no matter their race, gender, wealth or ZIP code – deserves a quality education that prepares them for future success,” said Jean-Pierre. “This year’s budget makes significant investments in our students, especially those in high-need districts, as well as promotes college affordability. I’ll never stop fighting to ensure our children have the resources they need to unlock their full potential.”

The budget provides a total of $342,123,959 towards Long Island Schools in the 11th AD, an increase of 3.13% over last year. The budget also provides $200 million for community schools – an increase of $50 million¬ over last year. This will especially help school districts with large numbers of English language learners (ELLs) or homeless students provide crucial services, including mentoring, health care and summer programs. The budget also increases the minimum community schools funding amount from $10,000 to $75,000.

In addition, the state budget allocates $12 million to establish Breakfast After the Bell for school districts where 70 percent or more of students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch to serve breakfast after the beginning of the school day. Studies have demonstrated that students struggling with hunger more often exhibit behavioral, emotional, mental health and academic problems.1 Absolutely no child should be distracted from learning because of an empty stomach, noted Jean-Pierre.

Continuing the Assembly’s Higher Education Road to Success Initiative to ensure all students who want to attend college can afford to do so, the budget invests $7.6 billion in higher education. The plan allocates $118 million to support the approximately 27,000 students in the Excelsior Scholarship program, which makes SUNY schools tuition-free for New Yorkers who earn less than $110,000 this year. It also modifies certain eligibility requirements to make them more flexible, in accordance with current Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) requirements. The budget also restores $23.8 million to college opportunity programs, which help academically and economically disadvantaged students excel at the college level.

“A college degree can be the ticket to a good-paying job and a middle-class living,” said Jean-Pierre. “This year’s budget reaffirms our commitment to providing affordable and accessible higher education because cost should never prevent students from achieving their dreams.”