Yonkers Delegation: Final Budget Increases Aid to Education for Yonkers Schools

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

April 01, 2009

Budget avoids funding cuts to Yonkers

The Yonkers State Legislative delegation announced that the final state budget agreement avoids drastic cuts to the Yonkers Public Schools and the City of Yonkers which were originally proposed in the Executive budget.

Working together, Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Jeff Klein along with Assemblymen Mike Spano, J. Gary Pretlow and Richard Brodsky were successful in seeing that the Yonkers Public School District received an increase in funding of 5%. The Executive budget had proposed a cut of $9.4 million or 4.2% less. Yonkers schools will also receive an extra $3.65 million in unrestricted (bullet) school aid.

Due to their efforts, the City of Yonkers was also able to avoid a cut to Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) funding in this year’s final budget. This means the City will receive almost $115 million in municipal Aid. In addition, they secured another $15 million in spin-up aid as well as an additional $5 million in unrestricted aid for the City of Yonkers to use to help close budget gaps.

"Throughout this budget process, the members of the Yonkers Delegation of the State Legislature were united in our commitment to ensuring that the City of Yonkers, and our public schools, received the funding that they both need, and deserve, to avoid a deepening crisis," Senator Stewart-Cousins (D-35th District) said. "There is no question that we had to overcome significant obstacles and make painful choices, but we understood that avoiding proposed cuts and providing essential aid had to be our priority."

"In a difficult budget year, we managed to prevent the cuts that would have been made had the original plan come to fruition," Spano said. "We have known for many months that there would be tough choices in this budget. However, it is reassuring that those choices have left vital funding for the City of Yonkers and our Public School System," Assemblyman Spano (D-93rd District) said.

"Education is the cornerstone of success and it is the absolute non-negotiable obligation of government to ensure that our children have every opportunity and resource they deserve. Our children are our future and any cut against them is a cut against ourselves. In this budget cycle, we waged a battle to deliver for Yonkers schools, and I'm proud to say we won," said Klein, Deputy Majority Leader of the State Senate.

"In these difficult times, we, as a delegation, banded together to deliver additional funding for the Yonkers Public Schools and the City of Yonkers. My colleagues and I remain totally committed to the quality and funding of public education in Yonkers," said Assemblyman Pretlow (D-87th District).

Assemblyman Brodsky (D-92nd District) stated, "The state has again done more than its fair share. I hope that the City steps up to the plate."