New Data Shows High Need School Districts Owed Majority of State Education Funding

New Analysis Breaks Down Foundation Aid by Legislative & City Council Districts

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 17, 2019) — A new analysis by the education advocacy organization Alliance for Quality Education breaks down the $3.8 billion in education funding that New York State owes public schools, showing how much of that funding would go to schools by Assembly and Senate district around the state.

Foundation Aid, or classroom operating aid, is calculated using a formula that takes into account the costs of meeting the educational needs of students. However since 2011 New York State has failed to provide enough funding in the state budget to reach that minimum requirement. According to the New York State Board of Regents, New York State currently owes public schools $3.8 billion in Foundation Aid.

A summary of the new data, including breakdowns by State Assembly and Senate district, New York City Council district and borough, can be viewed here.

AQE’s analysis of New York State Education Department data reveals that 65 percent of Foundation Aid is owed to high need school districts, and a majority is owed to schools that serve predominantly Black and Brown students.

The Board of Regents have put forth a $2 billion education proposal for 2020-21, the vast majority of which would go to fully funding Foundation Aid to address the educational needs of students. Foundation Aid in particular prioritizes supports for student populations that are increasing in New York, including English language learners (ELLs), low-income students and students with disabilities. The majority of funding would go to high-poverty schools with high concentrations of Black and Brown students.

“There is never going to be an excuse that can justify New York denying the right to a quality education to many Black and Brown children. We live in one of the wealthiest states in the wealthiest nation that has ever existed on this planet. Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature need to see Foundation Aid for what it really is: not a budget line, but an investment in our children’s futures and the future of our state,” said Jasmine Gripper, Legislative Director, Alliance for Quality Education.

“We urge Governor Cuomo to implement the Board of Regents’ plan, and fully fund public schools in the 2020-21 budget. We ask the Assembly and the Senate to commit to making sure that schools are fully funded with a two-year phase in of the Foundation Aid formula so the state can finally deliver on its obligation to provide a sound, basic education to all students.”