School and Foundation Aid safe for this year, but Gov. Hochul Put Child Care on the Chopping Block  1

School and Foundation Aid safe for this year, but Gov. Hochul Put Child Care on the Chopping Block 

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 20, 2024) — In response to the finalization of the New York State budget, public education advocacy organization the Alliance for Quality Education released the following response: 

“This should have been a year New York could have done great things, get kids to their maximum potential, and to build a continuous and coherent system. Instead we fought off a round of cuts to public schools, and fought tooth and nail just for a living wage for child care providers. What a tragedy it is, to waste a year in the lives of children, all for the sake of penny pinching and political games.

“Gov. Hochul came into office claiming to be a champion of mothers and families, and pledging to turn a new page from the prior administration. But two years into her tenure, her complete refusal to raise taxes on the ultrawealthy to invest in public programs clarifies that her policies are intended to help the rich get richer and decline opportunities for children, working families, immigrants, and the disabled.  

“The changes to education funding that the Governor pushed through will deliver less money to public schools, regardless of her repeated claims to the contrary. Under this budget, schools will receive $236 million less than was projected in February, and that was expected under current law. The Governor rationalized changes in the inflation factor used as a way to keep education funding ‘sustainable.’ This comes only eight months after schools began their first year in history with full funding from New York State, something for which the Governor likes to claim credit,” said Zakiyah Shaakir-Ansari, Co-Executive Director, Alliance for Quality Education.

“Even the inclusion of the much-needed study on an update of the Foundation Aid formula in the budget is based on the premise of ‘sustainability’ instead of adequacy. The goal must be to determine the cost of education to meet students’ needs, not how the state can yet again ‘save’ on our children’s education. The involvement of the Rockefeller Institute puts the Governor in a position of greater control over the process, though we are committed to ensure that experts, families, and educators also have a say.

“In this budget, Gov. Hochul blocked any new investment in child care, effectively slashing child care funding for the workforce. After years of touting her commitment to families and providers, the Governor refused to increase investment in the workforce by $220 million the legislature proposed be included in the final budget.   

“Just a few days ago, the Governor was in Washington, DC touting New York State’s investments in the care economy, but while there she forgot to note that she is refusing to allocate funding that would grant parents flexibility in using child care assistance, by separating subsidies from their working hours — a provision that was twice passed overwhelmingly by both houses of the legislature, only to be vetoed last year by the Governor herself, who insisted that it needed to be done in the budget process.  

“We are going to continue to fight to make sure that our children today and in the future have the education they deserve and to which they have a right,” said Marina Marcou-O’Malley, Co-Executive Director, Alliance for Quality Education.