April 2005


From the NYS Assembly ē Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Steven Sanders ē Chair, Education Committee

What the experts are saying about the Legislatureís budget...

"Itís a significant increase in education aid."

- David Ernst, Spokesman, New York State School Boards Association

"For K-12 education, the Legislatureís budget increases school funding by $840 million, more than the $526 million increase Pataki proposed. BOCES aid was fully restored and the Legislature rejected the governorís plan for special education cuts."

- New York State United Teachers

"The favorable impact of this on-time (state) budget for the first time in 20 years will allow taxpayers to vote on a spending plan with better estimates on aid. This was good stewardship by our elected officials."

- A. Paul Scott, Superintendent, Peru Central School District

"(The education agreement) is incredibly good news for us. The Legislatureís proposal is great. I just hope the governor signs it."

- Frank DeLuca, Superintendent, Pawling School District

"For me, (the) $300,000 (restoration), thatís almost a point on my tax rate. Iím happy that they followed through on their commitment."

- Roberta Zampolin, Superintendent, Nyack Central School District

"Theyíve taken a big step forward providing this information to districts when it can be useful. Everyone now has a number to work with Ö and they have it in time to include it in their budget planning."

- Jody Siegle, Executive Director, Monroe County School Boards Association

"Iím pleasantly surprised the numbers came out as well as they did."

- Peter Roswell, Superintendent, Hamburg School District

"This is going to help us minimize the impact on local tax rates and tax levies."

- Mark A. Capobianco, Superintendent, Vestal School District

Bipartisan state budget will provide $848 million more for school districts

The state Assembly and Senate passed a fair, on-time, bipartisan budget that will provide over $848 million more in funding to public schools than last year Ė approximately $354 million more than the governor proposed.

One of the most important jobs the state has is to adequately fund our schools. The governorís budget simply did not do that, but the budget passed by the Legislature does. The Legislature restored the governorís cuts for various expense-based aids, funds that local schools already spent and are entitled to state reimbursement for, including BOCES services, transportation costs, and educating students with disabilities.

The budget provides $327 million more for New York City schools. In addition, the budget provides a cap on the growth of local Medicaid costs Ė yielding savings that should be reinvested in the cityís schools.

It also addresses inequities in the stateís building aid formula that have shortchanged the city, leaving schools with far less aid than they are entitled to for ensuring students have an educational environment conducive to learning.

The budget makes more school building projects in New York City eligible for state reimbursement, and increases the reimbursement rate for New York City and other high-need school districts by a historic 5 percent Ė helping to provide our children with a safe, modern environment where they can focus on learning. Many schools are literally falling apart because they donít have the money to make necessary repairs. Children should not be learning math by counting the rain drops that fall through a leaky ceiling.

To better ensure schools are spending tax dollars wisely, an additional $2.9 million was added to the state Comptrollerís office for additional school audits. The legislative budget also includes $4.5 million in additional aid to libraries and library systems vetoed by the governor last year.

The governor has consistently cut funding to libraries. This appropriation puts that funding back in the budget. It is unacceptable to withhold funding to libraries, which are sources of knowledge for children and adults alike. For details on this additional funding, visit: http://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/Lib/2005Library/

For a comparison of the Legislatureís school aid funding for your district compared to the governorís and to last year, visit: http://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/Ed/2005SchoolAid/

The Assembly Internet Information Service is available to those interested in receiving timely legislative updates by e-mail.
To subscribe to this service, please drop us a line at signup@assembly.state.ny.us, indicating your area of interest. (The Assembly Internet Information Service will not release, sell or give away a subscriber’s e-mail address, name or any other information provided without express permission from the subscriber. Each e-mail notice or newsletter will contain simple instructions for removing your name from the mailing list if you decide you no longer wish to subscribe.)