Senator Helming Statement on School Aid

Statement from NYS Senator Pam Helming

Foundation Aid is the primary source of state funding to public schools and funds the majority of school operations, with other categories of funding supporting additional areas such as BOCES, transportation and UPK.

This year, the Governor has proposed changes to Foundation Aid that include eliminating the ‘hold harmless’ provision that protects school districts from receiving less in Foundation Aid than the prior year. I do not support eliminating hold harmless.

Under the executive budget proposal, half of our 54th District schools would see a cut in total funding. I do not support this and am advocating for this funding to be restored.

We need to reevaluate how we define high-needs districts. Our local schools are managing an increased need for mental health services, issues of food insecurity, staffing challenges and more.

I’m here to protect our local property taxpayers and to remind Democrat leaders that we have rural schools in New York State with real needs.

There are steps we can take to control spending while protecting taxpayers. This includes reducing mandates and giving schools more local control so they can operate as efficiently as possible.