Bonacic: Senate Budget Plan Increases Education Funding

John J. Bonacic

March 15, 2005

State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) announced today that the budget plan enacted by the Senate includes an additional $580 million in school aid, as well as funding for property tax relief.

Senator Bonacic said the Senate plan represents a 3.77 percent increase in school aid which provides an overall total of $15.9 billion, enhances district flexibility, and focuses resources on high needs districts. It also provides $45 million in additional education initiatives and sets aside $325 million specifically earmarked as Sound Basic Education Aid.

The Senate education budget plan also provides nearly a billion in direct school property tax relief to homeowners through protecting and enhancing the successful STAR property tax relief plan. "While it is critical to provide additional state aid to our schools, it is equally important to not place any additional burden on our property owners and business owners," stated Senator Bonacic.

The Senate plan includes the following additional resources:

Flex Aid - The Senate provides a total of $259 million in operating aid to increase the Executive’s minimum and maximum amount districts can receive. Additionally, the Senate plan provides $35.5 million in additional operating aid to the poorest school districts in the State.

Special Education Funding
($75 million) - The Senate fully restores private excess cost aid.

BOCES and Special Services Aid (42 million) - The Senate fully restores BOCES and Special Services Aid.

Building Aid ($25.5 million) - The Senate plan rejects the Executive building aid proposals and creates provisions to ensure that school construction projects areadequately funded.

Senator Bonacic concluded, "This education funding plan represents my commitment to our students and residents of the 42nd Senate District. Providing our children with the necessary education funding and tools ensures their success and is crucial to the health and vitality of our residents and the communities in which we live."