A new report, released September 5, sheds light on a pivotal moment in New York State’s education history. For the first time in its history, high-need majority Black and Latinx school districts across New York are receiving the long-overdue funding needed to provide students with a “sound basic education.” This achievement is a testament to the unwavering efforts of students, families, and community organizers who have championed educational equity for the past three decades.
The report, titled “Moving New York Toward Educational Equity” outlines the journey that has resulted in fully funding Foundation Aid for twenty-five historically underfunded districts. It also underscores the importance of this milestone, not as an endpoint but as a step toward addressing systemic disparities and creating a truly equitable educational landscape.
Highlights from the report include:
- Historic Funding Milestone: After years of legal battles, the equitable funding formula introduced in 2007 achieves full funding in September 2023. Governor Kathy Hochul’s announcement of a $2.7 billion increase in school funding marks a vital step toward ensuring students receive the resources they rightfully need and deserve.
- Equity Amplified: Compelling contrasts, between previous underfunding and the current investment, illustrate tangible improvements in student outcomes.
- Addressing Deep-Seated Inequities: The report delves into the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on high-need majority Black and Latinx communities, further exacerbating existing racial and economic inequalities.
- From Promise to Real Action: Full Foundation Aid funding has begun empowering districts to make meaningful changes, reducing class sizes, investing in social-emotional learning, expanding English language learner programs, and hiring additional staff.