State Budget Increases Education Aid

William J. Larkin, Jr.

April 05, 2005

Upon passage of the first on-time state budget in twenty years, Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced that area schools in the 39th Senate District will receive an additional $324,753,290 in state aid.

"The increases in education funding enacted in the state budget represent an average increase of 8% to our local schools in the 39th Senate District," said Senator Larkin. "The state average is 5.5%. This is great news for students who will benefit from the best resources and technologies available. It is also great news for area property taxpayers and small businesses."

Since 1995, the Legislature has increased school aid by over 65%. The new budget’s aid plan provides $848 million in additional school aid funding, including the following additional funding:

Flex Aid (+$180 million) -- This budget accepts the Executive’s additional operating aid proposal which provides a minimum wealth adjusted increase for all districts from .5 percent to 2.5 percent. In addition, it provides $30 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 and fully funds public excess cost aid.

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

Building Aid (+$50 million)-- The Senate rejects Executive proposals and makes other provisions to ensure that school construction projects are properly funded.

Tax Limitation Aid (+$87 million)-- The Senate accepts the Executive’s proposal for Tax Limitation Aid and adds additional funding for school districts which make a strong effort on educational spending.

Present Law funding is provided for Transportation Aid; Growth Aid; Full Day Kindergarten; Universal Pre-K; Class Size Reduction; Instructional Materials Aid, Teacher Support Aid, Centers and Mentor Intern Program; Categorical Reading; Improving Pupil Performance; Magnet Schools; and Bilingual Education.

Protecting Taxpayers

The budget provides $20 million in additional funding for the School Tax Relief program (STAR) by rejecting the Executive’s proposed STAR cap. STAR in total amounts to $3.02 billion.

Other Education Aid Highlights

The Senate’s 2005-06 education budget bill provides also additional funding for the following:

-Public Libraries Operating Aid ($4.4 million);

-Public Television and Radio ($692,000);

-Primary Mental Health Project ($970,000);

-Extended Day School Violence Prevention ($1.5 million);

-PEER Intervention Program ($500,000);

-National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification Program ($500,000);

-Independent Living Centers ($536,600);

-Supported Employment program ($618,000);

-Apprenticeship Training ($265,300);

-Consortium for Workers Education ($1.15 million);

-Transferring Success ($31,400);

-Workplace Literacy ($199,500).