Will 2016 Be the Year that New York Increases Education Funding?
Funding for public school education is a tricky, highly politicized subject ll over the Untied States, and New York is no exception. Nearly a decade ago, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity court decision ruled that the state was failing to provide students with funding necessary to receive a “sound basic education", and the state set aside additional funds, known as foundation aid, to try and close the funding gap between upper income and lower income schools. Unfortunately, the recession of 2008 eliminated the additional funds. Now those funds are flowing to schools once again, as part of the 2016-2017 state budget.
The new budget restores $266 million in foundation aid, along with some other measures that, in all, add up to over $900 million in increased education funding, for a 4.3% total budget increase to a proposed $24.22 billion.
Foundation aid is specifically set aside to help low income schools get the supplies and pay the teachers they need to provide a solid education, particularly since they receive little funding through property taxes, as wealthier school districts do.
“There are 20 different ways that you could change the way public schools are funded, but at the end of the day the only number that matters is the final school aid number,” said Carl Korn, chief press officer for NYSUT, the state teachers union. “There have been many proposals over the last few decades on how to change how schools are funded. It would be a little flippant to say we don’t care how they’re funded, but at the end of the day, what’s most important is that our public schools are funded properly to ensure any child – no matter their zip code – has an equal opportunity to succeed.”
You can read more about the proposed education funding on City and State here.