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Education advocates rally against Hochul’s budget proposals

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  • Staff Report 

In a united front, education stakeholders across New York are calling on state lawmakers to reject the executive budget proposal that they argue would leave public schools underfunded by hundreds of millions of dollars. Organizations passionate about public education have voiced their concerns over proposed changes in funding methods, stating that the move to use a 10-year rolling average of 2.4 percent for the Consumer Price Index instead of the current 3.8 percent will result in significant underfunding.

This underfunding, as highlighted by the group, threatens to diminish the Foundation Aid formula’s effectiveness, crucial for equitable state aid distribution to schools. The proposed budget adjustments, including modifications to the Save Harmless provisions, are expected to adversely affect 337 school districts, particularly those with higher needs, leading to potential cuts in vital programs and services like mental health support and educational enrichment.

The coalition warns that these budgetary decisions will have far-reaching negative impacts, especially on districts already facing challenges, potentially increasing class sizes and reducing the quality of education. They argue this situation could undermine New York’s commitment to providing a robust and equitable education system, urging lawmakers to ensure full funding for the state’s public schools to uphold the promise of quality education for every child.