Board of Regents – State Aid Proposal
On December 16, the Regents State Aid Subcommittee, chaired by Regent James Tallon, discussed an action item regarding the State Education Department’s 2014-15 proposal regarding state aid to school districts. In total, the proposal calls for an increase of $1.3 billion. The proposal is intended to provide more equitable funding for high needs school districts, and increase “investments” in universal pre-kindergarten programs and professional development. The increased funds would be directed to the following purposes:
- $1 Billion – For general support to schools, including $719 million in Transitional Operating Aid that will contribute to base aid formulas, including the Foundation Aid formula, and make progress toward the elimination of the gap elimination adjustment (GEA). It would also include $281 million for reimbursement-based programs, including Transportation Aid, Building Aid, and BOCES Aid.
- $125 Million – to support early childhood programs and Universal Pre-kindergarten.
- $125 Million – to provide professional development to educators and parents to better understand the common core learning standards. The Regent described the transition to common core as “generational” in terms of its timeline for full implementation and signaled that an amount exceeding $125 million will likely be included the Regents state aid proposal for 2015-16. He also explained that a formula will need to be developed for the allocation of such funds.
- $50 million – to help support the costs of new textbooks, hardware, technology, and software aligned with common core learning standards.
The Regents state aid proposal also calls for enhanced BOCES Aid for Career and Technical Education programs, discontinuing the current limitation of aid based on the first $30,000 of instructor salaries. The proposal also calls for improvement of incentives offered to school districts to reorganize, including the establishment of regional secondary schools.
The Regents State Aid proposal will be provided to Governor Cuomo and members of the state legislature prior to the presentation of the proposed Executive budget plan in January. For more information regarding the Board of Regents meeting or the State Education Department’s state aid recommendation, contact James Viola, Director of Government Relations at JViola@saanys.org