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  • New York
  • Osnat Zaken (bio)

The State's General Fund receives most State taxes and all income not earmarked for a specified program or activity.1 The FY 2019 Budget reflects the state's commitment to education equity through a $1 billion annual increase in Education Aid, to a record total of $26.7 billion for the 2018-19 school year; a 36% increase since 2012.2

funding priorities

  • • Increases Education Aid by approximately $1 billion (3.9%), to a record total of $26.7 billion.

  • • Requires school districts to increase transparency. For the 2018-19 school year, 76 large school districts that receive significant state aid must report school level funding allocation data to the public, State Education Department and Department of Budget.

  • • New York State spends more money per pupil than any state in the nation.3 New York surpassed all states with per-pupil elementary and secondary school spending of $22,366 per pupil as of 2016, according to the latest U.S. Census data.4

  • • Expand prekindergarten and after school programs, investing $25 million.

  • • State support for higher education in New York is $7.6 billion, an increase of $1.5 billion or 25% since FY 2012.

  • • Excelsior Scholarship: $118 million to continue the scholarship program which includes $1.2 billion to make college more affordable.5 [End Page 306]

Changes to the Funding Formula

  • • The FY 2019 Budget increased through a $1 billion annual increase in Education Aid, 3.9% growth, to a record total of $26.7 billion for the 2018-19 school year and a 36% increase since 2012.

  • • Expand Community Schools: The Budget increases funding for community schools by $50 million, to a total of $200 million, targeted to districts with struggling schools.

  • • Expand Access to Prekindergarten: The Budget includes a $15 million investment in prekindergarten to expand high-quality half-day and full-day prekindergarten instruction for 3,000 three and four year old children.

  • • Continue the Empire State After School Program: The Budget provides $10 million to Empire State After School awards, providing an additional 6,250 students with public after school care addressing high-need and childhood homelessness.

  • • Grow Early College High Schools: The Budget commits an additional $9 million to create 15 new early college high school programs.6

  • • The Farm-to-School program brings local produce to children in our schools and spurs growth for farmers across this great state. An additional $1.5 million will yield an increase in the number of schools serving locally-sourced meals and support for New York's agricultural industry.7

higher education

SUNY and CUNY administer 47 four-year colleges and graduate schools with a total enrollment of 404,000 full- and part-time students. SUNY and CUNY also operate 37 community colleges, serving 320,000 students. State funds support a significant portion of SUNY and CUNY operations. State debt service payments for capital projects at SUNY and CUNY are estimated at $1.2 billion in FY 2019, an increase of $24 million from FY 2018 levels.

HESC is New York State's student financial aid agency and oversees numerous State-funded financial aid programs, including the Excelsior Scholarship, Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), and 24 other scholarship and loan forgiveness programs–providing financial aid to approximately 400,000 students.

The Budget provides $7.6 billion in State support for higher education in New York–an increase of $1.5 billion or 25% since FY 2012. This investment includes $1.2 billion for strategic programs to make college more affordable. [End Page 307]

Higher education spending is projected to increase by $231 million, or 8.2%, from FY 2018 to FY 2019.8

Implement the Second Phase of the Excelsior Free Tuition Program: For the 2019 academic year, the income eligibility threshold will increase, allowing New Yorkers with household incomes up to $110,000 to be eligible. The Budget includes $118 million to support an estimated 27,000 students in the program. Along with other sources of tuition assistance, such as the New York State Tuition Assistance Program, the Excelsior Scholarship will allow approximately 53 percent of full-time SUNY and CUNY in-state students, or more than 210,000 New...