New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo presented his executive budget proposal this week that calls for an $826 million increase in overall education funding for the 2020-21 school year. The governor’s priorities include steering more funding toward high-need districts, consolidating and/or slowing the growth of certain reimbursements to schools and continuing to invest in prekindergarten and afterschool programs.
The Governor’s proposed budget shows an overall increase in Foundation Aid for the Greater Amsterdam School District of $833,838 or 2.56 percent for the 2020-21 school year. This 2.56 percent increase represents an increase in Foundation Aid only, explained GASD Business Manager Colleen DiCaprio. Foundation aid totals under the 2019-20 Current Law as enacted by Gov. Cuomo now include adjusted Foundation Aid “subtotals” in various aid categories but specifically BOCES Aid, Instructional and Materials Aid and lastly Supplemental Public Excess Cost Aid.
In addition to Foundation Aid, GASD saw a slight increase in categorical/expense-based state aid of less than 1 percent or $813,096 in the executive budget proposal. Categorical Aid and Foundation Aid together make up a total state aid increase proposed for the district of $1,646,394 for 2020-21.
The release of the Governor’s executive budget represents the beginning of the state budget negotiations between the governor and the legislature. There is an April 1 deadline for the state budget, which provides school districts with critical information about state aid as they plan their own budgets for the coming year.
“We are still waiting on the Governor’s State Aid Run for our district,” DiCaprio said. “We are always hopeful that funding that school districts have been asking for for years will be implemented – fully phasing in the Foundation Aid over the next three years. But I don’t have high hopes for this especially in light of the state’s deficit of more than $7 billion. However, we can be hopeful more aid will be coming our way once Legislators get together to review the Governor’s proposal.”
The proposed $826 million in additional education funding statewide represents a 3 percent increase from the current year’s budget. However, it is less than half of the $2.0 billion increase recommended by the New York State Board of Regents for the 2020-21 year. Similarly, the Educational Conference Board, a coalition of statewide education organizations, says a $2.1 billion increase is necessary to allow schools to maintain current services and expand opportunities and support for students.
The Amsterdam School budget development process is now underway. Stay tuned to the website for more information as it develops. Public voting on the Amsterdam school budget will be held on May 19th.