March 12, 2014

Assembly Budget Proposal Increases Education Funding by More than $4 Billion Over the Next Four Years
Assembly Authorizes NYC Tax for Pre-K and Makes $100 Million Commitment to Expand Universal Pre-K Statewide

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Education Committee Chair Catherine Nolan today announced an Assembly budget allocation of $22.2 billion in school aid, which reflects an increase of $970 million in formula aids over SY 2013-2014. The Assembly proposal is an increase of $402 million over the Executive budget school aid allocation for SY 2014-2015. Included in the increase is $335 million for Foundation Aid and $367 million for Gap Elimination Adjustment.

The Assembly would authorize New York City to impose a personal income tax surcharge to fund Universal Pre-K (UPK) and after-school programs. The surcharge of .534 percent will be applied to those earning more than $500,000. The Assembly proposal also commits $100 million to fund UPK which targets high-needs districts. The sustainable grant program is a multi-year commitment that provides significant funding to expand full-day UPK in all parts of the state.

The Assembly proposal is the largest increase in education funding since 2008-09. This is the first step in a multi-year increase of roughly $1 billion annually over each of the next four years.

"As the landscape of New York's education system continues to change and evolve, the Assembly Majority's most important investment remains in the present and future progress of our children," Speaker Silver said. "We simply cannot let any child slip through cracks of an under-funded and neglected educational system. The Assembly budget proposal, the largest state investment in education in more than five years, includes significant support for the schools, teachers and educational programs and services across the state that help prepare our students for success."

"This year's budget proposal reaffirms the Assembly's commitment to ensuring that New York's students receive the highest possible quality education from pre-K all the way through 12th grade," Nolan said. "In addition to providing support for critical programs and resources, our one-house budget addresses the funding challenges that many school districts face across the state, all the while ensuring that each and every child is given the same chance at a bright and successful future."

The Assembly budget expands the $2 billion Smart School Bond Act by an additional $317 million to accommodate the needs of children attending nonpublic schools, as well as children attending Special Act school districts, approved private schools for the education of school age students with disabilities and state supported schools for the blind and deaf.

It also increases funding for critical education programs including: