Pearl River, NY -- (8/2/16) Tom DePrisco, candidate for the 38th Senate District in New York, today released a statement calling for Albany Elected Officials to restore State Education Aid:
The number budget line item in the New York State budget is education. Education is an important investment for our future. Our children are our futures. Education state aid to our public schools makes up 18% of the entire $142 billion NYS budget. Nearly $25 billion in aid helps fund our public school programs and services. Higher education or college state aid accounts for an additional 5%, or $7 billion, of the entire state budget.
There are many types of education state aid. Some examples are: BOCES, transportation, textbook, library, and most importantly foundation aid. Foundation Aid is the largest unrestricted aid category that was designed to provide equitable and predictable funding that considered cost, need and local school district ability to pay. Simply put, school districts rely on Foundation Aid to help fund numerous programs. Unfortunately, due to the 2008 Great Recession this aid was frozen for four years and has not been fully funded since.
Annually, school board members meet with their legislative representatives to beg for increased state education aid. This process always troubled me in that I always felt like I had to remind our elected officials of the need to maintain and increase education funding for our public school districts. It is the responsibility of our Legislature to provide adequate and sustainable funding for our schools annually.
Although our Legislature finally fully eliminated the Gap Elimination Adjustment this year, our representatives have still not provided the necessary equitable distribution of Foundation Aid to our school districts. For example, over the past six years, the Nyack School District’s budget has increased by $9.4 million yet only received an additional $311,000 in Foundation Aid for those six years. During the same period, the Briarcliff Manor School District’s budget increased by $1.9 million yet only received an additional $56,000 in Foundation Aid.
Although our school districts have received nominal and required increases in certain mandated aid categories, they are still owed millions in Foundation Aid.
I will make it a priority as a state senator to ensure the legislature provides the necessary education foundation aid to all of our school districts."
The chart below shows the ten school districts in the 38th senatorial district.
Each district is listed with their cumulative budget increases for the past six years and the total cumulative inadequate increase in education foundation aid for the same six year period. The cumulative foundation aid for each school district should be millions of dollars more.