Albany, N.Y. Increased aid to education in the 2019-20 state budget is needed to maintain current levelsnysut of academic services and provide needed enhancements for school districts across the state, said NYS United Teachers President Andy Pallotta.
In legislative testimony, Pallotta said NYSUT, along with partners on the New York State Educational Conference Board, is calling for a $2.2 billion increase in education aid, including $1.3 billion in Foundation Aid, $409 million in expense-based reimbursements and $500 million in targeted funding to strengthen school safety, provide mental health services for students and expand access for college and career pathways.
“Our public educators work hard every day to ensure New York’s children are prepared for success over the course of their lives,” Pallotta said. “It is important to continue investments in our education system now to create better outcomes for millions of New Yorkers in the future.”
Pallotta urged lawmakers to reject the governor’s proposal to require school districts to re-allocate Foundation Aid to specific schools within the district. Such a proposal would take control of school funds away from the local community and does not address the lack of adequate funding many districts face.
When it comes to the state property tax cap, NYSUT is seeking modifications that would, among other things, exempt BOCES capital projects and school safety costs from the cap and remove the super-majority requirement.