NYSASBO Releases State Aid Recommendations for 2017-18 School Year
The New York State Association of School Business Officials (NYSASBO) released its 2017-18 State School Aid proposal, which calls for a $1.9 billion increase in formula and categorical aids as well as targeted increases for CTE education, school nutrition, prior year adjustments and strategic resource planning for an additional $157 million in state support.
The School Aid proposal is based on the three year phase in of outstanding Foundation Aid and other enhancements to the school aid formula recommended by NYSASBO’s Foundation Aid Task Force Study, which can be found here.
Nine years ago, New York State’s Foundation Aid formula was enacted into law in order to provide an adequate and simple method to distribute state aid to school districts. However, due to the Great Recession, planned funding increases have never been realized. As a result, schools have not received over $3.8 billion in planned Foundation Aid payments. NYSASBO’s proposal lays out a three year plan for New York to phase in a fully funded Foundation Aid formula while also making adjustments to provide educational opportunities to all New York’s students.
Career and technical education (CTE) programs offer students an additional educational path, reduce high school dropout rates and establish a connection between education and job opportunities. Aid limits for CTE program participation has remained the same for two decades. As such, NYSASBO recommends that these aid limits be adjusted to reflect increases in program costs. Doing so ensures that students have access to appropriate educational options.
In addition, NYSASBO’s proposal includes recommendations to reevaluate school lunch reimbursement rates that have remained stagnant for forty years at just under 6 cents. This outdated and restrictive rate makes it difficult for school districts to purchase the best food for students. NYSASBO supports a three-year phase in of the New York State School Nutrition Association’s “Drive for 25” initiative which would reimburse school nutrition programs an additional 20 cents per meal provided that they make 25 percent of their purchases from in-state vendors. By adopting this policy, school districts would be in a better position to provide nutritious, affordable lunches to students.
“By completely phasing out the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) in 2016, New York State took the first step toward providing adequate school funding. This year, we are calling on the State to finish what they started last year and fully fund the Foundation Aid formula. This combined with adjusting several reimbursement rates will ensure that our students receive an adequate and equitable education at a cost taxpayers can afford,” stated Michael Borges, Executive Director.
The 2017-18 School Aid Proposal can be found on the NYSASBO website here.