Assemblymember Steck: Increasing Foundation Aid is an Investment in Our Future That is Required by Law

Assemblymember Phil Steck (D-Colonie) announced his support for the Assembly’s proposal to increase Foundation Aid for public schools across the state by $1.4 billion, an increase of $1 billion over the executive’s budget proposal, for the 2017-18 school year.

“New York’s public schools have been shortchanged for too long,” said Steck. “Investing in our children’s future is one of the most important things we can do to help them succeed. It’s time we provide every school with fair, adequate funding.”

The Assembly state budget proposal rejects the executive’s plan to repeal the Foundation Aid formula and ensures that the total aid owed to schools is phased in over four years so districts have steady, dependable aid.

“Foundation Aid is designed to make sure that funding goes to the schools that need it most,” said Steck. “I’ll always work to make sure Capital Region schools get their fair share, because our kids’ education is not something to bargain with.”

Steck noted that Foundation Aid is the result of a successful lawsuit in which the Court of Appeals, our highest court, ruled that some school districts did not receive enough State aid to provide even the minimum funding necessary to fulfill the right to a public education contained in the New York State Constitution. A formula, called Foundation Aid, was agreed to by all the branches of government so that all school districts in the State could meet constitutional requirements. Steck was disappointed with the executive’s proposal to eliminate the state’s financial obligation to fund Foundation Aid. “It is the right of every New Yorker to receive a sound education and to ignore that right is disturbing. Not only is Foundation Aid the right thing to do, but it is the law,” Steck noted.