School Aid

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

School districts have been left in limbo, with the passage of a New York state budget extender instead of an approved spending plan.

Cuomo distorting school aid picture, report says

Feb 3, 2017
Alliance for Quality Education

The Alliance for Quality Education says Gov. Andrew Cuomo is misleading the public in a debate about school funding. The school advocacy group has published a new report that criticizes the governor's proposed education spending plan and his attempts to defend it.

It is summer vacation for school children, but leaders of New York’s rural schools are worrying about the new school year and say they are squeezed by a tax cap and other factors.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The days of balancing the New York State budget on the backs of public school districts are over. So say those who hail the end of a budgetary practice that diverted millions of dollars from education to close Albany's overall multi-billion dollar deficit.

WBFO News file photo

The in-fighting in Albany over the state budget means school districts have no clue how much they will get in aid. Time is running short on budget planning and preparation.

Photo by Karen DeWitt

Lawmakers were hurrying late Monday to complete work on the state budget before the midnight deadline, but the spending plan is not without some controversy.


Governor Andrew Cuomo released his 2014-2015 state budget Tuesday. The $137.2 billion spending plan includes more money for schools, including a phase-in of funding for universal pre-kindergarten programs. It would also freeze property taxes for two years, if local governments cooperate.

Buffalo schools are seeing no financial relief in the new state budget which will probably fall into place Thursday.

There is good news for local school districts in the state budget being finalized in Albany. The agreement hammered out between Gov. Cuomo and lawmakers provides more than $21 billion in aid to education, an increase of nearly $1 billion.

Education advocates say Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to increase school aid 4.4 percent in the next fiscal year falls short of what is needed.

The new state budget approved by Albany this week will increase state aid to schools over the levels the Governor had proposed.

Locally, that means some jobs and academic programs will be preserved, but the aid will not cover all of the budget gaps for local schools. A majority of the increased aid will go to what are considered high-needs districts, such as Buffalo.

The News reports that the only district in Erie and Niagara Counties not to receive aid was Holland.