A new report released by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities shows that New York State is still shortchanging Black, Brown and low income students as state formula funding is below 2008 funding levels. In 2007, as a result of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, the State committed to providing $5.5 billion in operating aid increases over four years. The State provided only two years of the commitment, before Governors Paterson and Cuomo cut $2.7 billion in 2010 and 2011.
The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities issued a report showing that New York State is one of 29 states with state school aid that is lower than it was in 2008. The report is based upon the 2015 budget numbers which is the most recent year for which comprehensive national data is available. In the past two years, New York State has finally got out of this hole. But currently state funding only exceeds 2008 levels by $3.2 billion, which is $487 million less than the growth in inflation in this time. Since 2008 the regional inflation rate according to the U.S. Department of Labor is 16.2 percent.
“By any measure Governor Cuomo’s continuous claims that he has significantly increased school funding ring false. In reality schools have gone backwards since 2008 due to Governor Cuomo’s failure to prioritize Black, Brown and low income students,” said Marina Marcou-O’Malley, Policy Director for the Alliance for Quality Education.
“Governor Cuomo likes to say that he has increased education funding, but the numbers tell a different story. Year after year he has not even kept up with inflation, nevermind providing for improvements. It is unfathomable that over the course of 10 years the state not only has not kept its commitment, but it is in fact providing nearly half a billion less,” Marcou-O’Malley said.
“In 2018, budget deficit or not, there can be no excuse for undercutting the education of students in need. The Governor and the legislature must fully fund equity in 2018 and protect our state’s students. The State can finance our schools by raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires and closing the carried interest loophole that subsidizes Wall Street hedge fund managers.”
*16.2 percent inflation is based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.