The state budget adopted on May 2 — a month behind schedule — includes a substantial increase in state aid for New York City schools. City schools will receive an additional $525 million, a 4.2% increase over last year.
Gov. Kathy Hochul and state lawmakers kept the pledge they made in 2021 to fully fund foundation aid — the part of state education aid that helps high-need districts the most. In the final budget for the fiscal year that started on April 1, New York City received $9.4 billion in foundation aid, a 5.5% increase.
“The state heard educators and parents and increased its investment in New York City public schools,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said. “Albany made good on its promise and is fully funding foundation aid, which enables the city to pay for and implement the historic smaller class size law.”
By contrast, Mayor Eric Adams has introduced an executive city budget that would cut $960 million from education spending in the coming year.
“At a time when the state is investing more in public education and city schools, the city is cutting back,” Mulgrew said. “City Hall went on record saying the money was not coming from the classroom. Given the cuts schools faced this year, parents and educators are skeptical, to say the least.”
The state budget maintains funding for Teacher Centers statewide. The UFT Teacher Center offers professional learning to educators by educators at 140 schools citywide in addition to an array of courses and workshops open to all educators.
The budget also includes a $450,000 grant for United Community Schools. That UFT program provides wraparound services to address educational, social-emotional and health issues that can hamper students’ ability to learn. United Community Schools, which the union created in 2012, has grown from six to 31 schools in high-need neighborhoods across the city.
The state budget also includes:
- $1 billion to reimburse New York City for the expenses it has incurred following the influx of asylum seekers sent to the city from Texas and other states.
- $134 million for free breakfast and lunch in low-income schools.
- $20 million to help establish new Smart Scholars Early College High School or Pathways in Technology Early College High School programs, with priority given to students in high-need school districts.
- $10 million for high school-college-workforce transformation grants so school districts can work with community colleges and the business sector to create strategic workforce plans.