From the NYS Assembly · Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Steve Sanders · Chair, Education Committee
Sandra R. Galef · Chair, Libraries and Education Technology Committee
Assembly budget invests in our children’s future
The Assembly passed a budget resolution that provides a sound investment in our children’s future - increasing school aid by $790.5 million over last year (Resolution C322). The Assembly’s plan provides more resources and reforms, and it establishes a foundation formula to more equitably distribute education funds - one based on, among other variables, student need.
Providing a sound education for every child
The new foundation formula sets the stage for the kind of real education funding reform called for under the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) case. That’s a step toward providing a good education for every child in this state - ensuring that every school has sufficient resources and enhancing accountability.
As the Assembly has done in each of the last 10 Pataki budgets, it rejected the governor’s education cuts - cuts that would be felt by both students and local taxpayers. Highlights include:
To further improve public accountability, ensure better fiscal oversight and ultimately save tax dollars, the Assembly budget also provides $2.9 million for school district audits to be conducted by the State Comptroller.
Supporting community libraries
The Assembly also restores nearly $4.5 million in aid for local libraries that was vetoed by the governor last year. This restoration would generate $500,000 in federal matching funds that were lost last year due to the governor’s veto. The Assembly provides an additional $2.6 million to ensure that library aid is distributed based on the 2000 Census - correcting the fact that the governor has deliberately ignored New York City’s population growth and, as a result, is drastically underfunding its libraries. Additionally, the Assembly’s proposal protects libraries that lost population. For a look at the Assembly’s library funding restorations, visit: http://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/Lib/2005Library/.
Rejecting the governor’s irresponsible budget
The Assembly believes it cannot allow the governor to balance his flawed budget on the backs of students and taxpayers. The governor’s budget will gamble our children’s future on funding from video lottery terminals (VLTs) while speeding up a tax cut for the wealthiest 1 percent of New Yorkers - those making over half a million dollars a year. His priorities are misplaced. We must invest in education to unlock our children’s full potential - not gamble on their future with risky fiscal schemes. That’s why we reject the governor’s proposal to create eight new non-racetrack franchises to operate VLTs as well as his tax break for the wealthy.
The Assembly’s plan truly invests in New York’s students and ensures that those resources make it to the teachers in our classrooms to produce the results we need for a better tomorrow.
With school districts planning their budgets, it’s critical to know how much school aid to expect. For a comparison of the Assembly’s school aid funding for your district compared to the governor’s, visit: www.assembly.state.ny.us/comm/Ed/2005AssmEdRuns/.
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