Brooklyn, NY -- Senator Andrew Gounardes celebrated the passing of an historic budget increase for New York City’s education system, landmark funding that will provide much-needed resources to our schools. With public schools in Senate District 22 owed $43 million in state aid, this budget will ensure that for the first time in a generation, schools in southern Brooklyn will be completely funded. Additionally, the budget invests $40 million in grants to non-public schools for STEM programs, an important source of support for many eligible schools across southern Brooklyn. The budget also continues the State’s $5 million investment in the implementation of QUALITYstarsNY, New York’s quality rating and improvement system intended to ensure the State’s youngest students are enrolled in the highest quality prekindergarten programs possible.
Provisions in the budget include a $1.3 billion increase in Foundation Aid and a three-year Foundation Aid phase-in that will finally fulfill the State’s commitments under the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. The budget also provides a $105 million expansion of full-day prekindergarten, allocating funding to 210 districts who don’t currently receive state-funded Pre-K, and ensures that additional Federal Aid will supplement, and not supplant State funding. To further build upon the success of the existing early college high school programs, the budget commits an additional $6 million to create at least 10 of these new programs. This expansion will target communities with low graduation rates. This budget takes transformational steps to increase state and federal resources to ensure that New York’s students receive the high quality education they deserve and that all teachers are adequately supported.
“The fight to fully fund our schools has been waged for decades,” said Senator Gounardes. “With this budget, we are finally ensuring that NYC schools are receiving every penny of state aid owed to them. With students and teachers facing immense difficulties over the past year, and now, preparing for a safe reopening for all students, this funding could not be more important.”