Assembly Budget Bill Advances Racial & Economic Equity In Education

ALBANY, NY (March 13, 2018) — Yesterday, the Assembly proposed a $1.5 billion increase in school funding, including $1.2 billion in Foundation Aid as part of a 4-year plan to fully phase in the remainder Foundation Aid that New York State owes to schools. Getting this budget enacted is essential to addressing the educational racism that leaves New York State ranked 49th in the country in school funding equity. The Assembly proposed school aid increase is double that proposed by the Governor and their Foundation Aid increase is almost 3 times as large. The Governor failed to include any plan to fully phase-in Foundation Aid.

The Assembly proposal includes investments to improve school climate and safety, a much-needed step that would move toward addressing the school to prison pipeline. It also proposes adding $50 million for expansion of pre-K, and includes funding to address the lack of teacher diversity, by expanding recruitment and retention of teachers of color.

In addition, the Assembly proposes a progressive income tax surcharge on earners who make over $5 million, and  a variety of other revenue raising measures that would generate the necessary revenue for adequate investments in our schools. They also propose closing the carried interest tax loophole in order to require hedge fund managers to pay taxes on their income just like the request of us are required to do.

“The Assembly budget proposal is a major step toward ending New York’s systemic educational racism and inequity, which for too long has allowed access to a quality education to some children while denying it to others,” said Jasmine Gripper, Legislative Director, Alliance for Quality Education. “The four-year phase-in of Foundation Aid, starting with $1.2 billion this year, provides a starting point to addressing racial and economic inequity in our public schools. We applaud Speaker Heastie, Assembly Education Committee Chair Cathy Nolan and the entire Assembly majority for their consistent leadership in supporting students and public education. As budget negotiations move forward, we urge the Senate to prioritize our students by taxing New York’s millionaires to close the budget deficit, and invest in education.”