Finally: Foundation Aid is fully funded!
After weeks of NYSUT advocacy, the enacted 2023–24 state budget is a done deal. Although negotiations lasted late into the night, the state Legislature approved a $229 billion spending plan that represents a .88 percent increase over the executive budget and a 4.1 percent increase over last year’s budget.
“The full funding of Foundation Aid represents a historic moment for New York and our public schools. The state is at last keeping a promise that has been broken for far too long. Students will finally be getting more of the tools and resources they need to thrive in the classroom,” said NYSUT president Melinda Person.
“We are, however, disappointed by the state allowing corporate charters to continue draining money from public schools,” Person continued. “We will continue fighting for transparency and accountability from the charter school industry. And as always, we will be advocating for the strongest public school system in the world, from pre-K to higher ed, throughout the rest of the session.”
Although getting a state budget approved is a big win, the work isn’t over, Person explained. The statewide union will now turn its attention to the remainder of the legislative session to keep advocating for important legislation still before state lawmakers.
Here’s what the enacted budget provides:
- Foundation Aid is finally fully funded! New York state School Aid totals $34 billion and includes a $2.6 billion Foundation Aid increase.
- Download our 2023-24 Enacted Budget School Aid Profile to compare your district's proposed aid to last year's funding data.
- $1.2 million for technical assistance to community schools and $450,000 for United Community schools.
- Allows school districts to purchase agricultural products that are grown, harvested, or processed in state, and cost under $150,000, without a bidding process.
- $181 million to reimburse school districts that participate in community eligibility, for the difference between the federal and state combined rate. This will allow each district to receive full payment at the maximum rate.
- $21.4 million restored for teacher centers.
- $1.125 million restored for NYSUT’s Implicit Bias Training program.
- Provides for 22 zombie charters, 14 in New York City and eight for the rest of the state. However, zombie charters won’t be granted in NYC community school districts where the total student enrollment is at, or equal to, 55 percent.
- $185 million to reimburse public school districts for supplemental basic tuition payments made to charter schools.
- $100 million for facilities aid.
- $112 million for 4201 Schools serving students who are deaf and blind.
- $2.5 million for the State Education Department to conduct a study to produce a new rate-setting method, due by July 1, 2025.
- $17.2 million for minimum wage assistance for 4201, Special Act and 853 Schools and 4410 programs.
- Includes grants for The New York School for the Deaf, the Henry Viscardi School, the Mill Neck Manor School, the Cleary School, St. Francis de Sales School for the Deaf and St. Mary’s School for the Deaf.
Human Services Cost of Living Allowance
- Provides a 4 percent COLA in 2023–24 for human services providers who contract with OPWDD, OMH, OASAS, OCFS, OTDA and SOFA.
- $178 million in operating support for SUNY and $97 million for CUNY.
SUNY Community College base Aid
- Using 2022–23 as the base year, establishes a 100 percent funding floor for Base Aid for 2024 which amounts to $416 million.
- Community colleges also have access to $75 million in funds set aside for non-reoccurring transformational initiatives.
- Includes debt service relief for the three SUNY teaching hospitals and makes them eligible to receive funds designated for hospitals with serious financial instability that require extraordinary financial assistance (formerly known as distressed hospitals).
- For a three-year period starting with academic year 2023–24, SUNY and CUNY can annually impose differential tuition rates on non-resident undergraduate and graduate students.
Enrollment Fluctuation Study
- Directs SUNY and CUNY trustees to develop a long-term plan to address the impact of student enrollment fluctuations on the academic and financial sustainability of their two, and four-year institutions.
- Plans must be submitted to the Governor and the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2024.
LABOR AND RETIREMENT
Retiree Earnings Cap
- Suspends the wage cap through June 2024 for public retirees who return to work in school districts and BOCES.
- By 2026, increases the state minimum wage to $17 hourly in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County and $16 hourly in the rest of the state.
- Starting in 2027, to offset rising inflation, future minimum wage increases will index to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical workers for the Northeast region.
- Includes a tax credit for businesses that create or expand access to childcare and make it more accessible.
- Extends the corporate tax rate for businesses with a taxable income of more than $5 million until fiscal year 2026.