State Budget Update

Late Friday afternoon, components of the State Budget were released and the governor signed the bills on Saturday afternoon. The following provides a summary of the budget components available at this time. Overall, there will be an approximate $31.5 billion allocated for state aid, including a $1.5 billion increase in Foundation Aid. Further information will be provided by SAANYS as we review the budget-specific items and analyze impacts on school districts.

Education, Labor, and Family Assistance – Article VII A. 9006-C/S.8006-C

– Continues to fully phase-in Foundation Aid as per the statutory formula.

– Increases funding for Universal pre-kindergarten. The budget will provide additional funding for the 2022-23 school year. Funding is based on the maximum number of full-day, four-year-old pre-k pupils served in the previous year, plus the maximum number of aidable half-day, four-year-olds converted into full-day pre-k pupils in the prior year and allocated new seats.

– Special Education Reserve Fund – school districts will be able to increase the amount retained in reserve funds.

– School Meals – the new budget will provide annual state subsidies for meals that use at least 30 percent of products from NYS farmers and producers.

– Requires districts to update required spending plans under the American Rescue Plan Act. Reporting must include public comments on the plan, spending goals, and fund balances.

– Zero-emission school buses – No later than 7/1/27 all new school buses that are purchased or leased must meet zero-emission requirements. The budget language includes requirements for procurement processes and allows the commissioner to waive contracting requirements under certain conditions that would result in unreasonable costs.

– Require districts to develop a workforce development report prior to the beginning of the procurement process for new, zero-emission school buses that examines the number of positions that would be impacted as a result of the purchase or lease of such buses, identify gaps in personnel needed, jobs added, and training needs and costs.

– Prior to initiating the procurement process, any employer covered by this legislation must inform its employees’ collective bargaining representative of the potential impacts of the purchase or leasing of zero-emission buses.

Other Items in the Budget that May Have Import for Districts
Part HH
Salary Cap Waiver – This allows a retired person to return to work in a school district or BOCES without affecting their retirement status and without decreases to their retirement allowance. This provision is for one year and expires June 30, 2023.

Changes to Tiers 5 and 6 – Members may be vested after 5 years of service credit as opposed to the current 10-year period. For NYSTRS members in Tier 6, the employee contribution rate will be determined using annual base wages and not include additional compensation earned for pensionable earnings between 7/1/22 and 7/1/2024.

Eligibility for childcare subsides is raise to 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. The chart below provides information on FPLs.

As noted above, this summary is based on information available as of Saturday, April 9, 2022. As we continue to analyze the budget bills and details, additional updates will be provided. Please feel free to contact with any questions or requests for information.