The following is a statement released on April 10 from Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia on the Enacted State Budget from Governor Andrew Cuomo:
“The Enacted Budget prioritizes several programs that will directly benefit New York’s families and children. With the phase-in maintained and funding for schools increased by $1 billion, school districts will have additional resources to help children be successful in life. Further, making higher education affordable for our families and students will help make college dreams a reality. We thank the governor, Assembly Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Flanagan for coming to agreement on the Excelsior Scholarship, TAP and Higher Education Opportunity Programs.
“The governor and legislative leaders also recognized the vitally important role the State Education Department is playing in improving academics and finances at the East Ramapo Central School District. The work of our state monitors will continue next year and the children of East Ramapo will still have full-day kindergarten and continued art programming with $3 million in assistance.
“Each year, the state Education Department translates the state aid formula into funding amounts for school districts, which is imperative for districts to put together their budget for voter approval. The enacted budget provides funding to allow us to bring our state aid, facilities and special education computer systems into the 21st-century technology.
“We appreciate the continued funding of the My Brother’s Keeper program, which supports programs and strategies to help boys and young men of color—and all students—realize their full potential. In addition, the Budget provides an expansion of $5 million in prekindergarten funding, establishing a multi-year plan to consolidate six prekindergarten programs into one, and $1.5 million for the Foster Youth Success Initiative, which provides financial aid and counseling services to foster youth attending college.
“Continued support is included for NYSED’s opportunity programs to provide comprehensive pre-collegiate/dropout prevention programs to middle and high school students (Liberty Partnerships Program); academic enrichment and research experience in STEM content areas for both high school and college students (STEP and CSTEP); and financial aid, summer programs, remedial/developmental courses, tutoring and counseling to college students (HEOP).
“We thank the governor, Assembly Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Flanagan for advancing these significant initiatives to better serve New York’s children and adults.”