Senator Dilan Announces New Aid For New York City Schools

Martin Malavé Dilan

April 03, 2006

State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Brooklyn) today announced a sharp increase in funding for New York City’s schools. In the second on-time budget in a row, the legislature added much need funding to allow New York City to construct new schools and repair existing ones.

“Today truly is a great day for New York City school children and their families. For too long students have been forced to learn in overcrowded classrooms with insufficient supplies inside crumbling buildings. We finally have a chance to make significant improvements and I applaud both houses of the legislature for taking steps in the right direction,” Senator Dilan said.

The new plan provides New York City schools with $1.8 billion in capital funding while distributing $800 million to other high need districts across the state. The plan also allows the City to borrow up to $9.4 billion that will be repaid mostly by the state. While these funds will allow the City to alleviate overcrowding with new schools, there are still funds needed.

“This is great news for the school children of New York City, however, I am disappointed with the lack of funds for operating aid. The opportunity to build new schools is terrific, but without the money to hire new teachers and principals and maintain the new facilities we are left with the same problems. We had a real opportunity this year to comply with the CFE court decision and provide New York City with the money they needed to improve the quality of education students receive,” Senator Dilan said. “Unfortunately, we came up short again.”

According to the Brooklyn lawmaker, there were proposals that would have addressed the operating aid issue and provided the necessary funds. The SenateMinorityoffered a bill that would have provided an additional $1.15 billion to New York City’s operating aid, as well as an additional $580 million to the big 4 school districts (Yonkers, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo) and a minimum increase of 2% for all other districts across the state.

“The bill we offered was a companion to the original Assembly proposal and would have provided the necessary increases in operating aid. Unfortunately, the SenateMajority did not support our measure and operating aid for New York City schools has gone by the wayside for this year. We must continue our work to provide a fair and equitable funding system that provides all of our state’s school children with the resources they deserve as they pursue their right to a sound basic education,” Senator Dilan concluded.