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December 11, 2023
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JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



Board of Regents Advances Budget and Legislative Priorities for the 2024-25 School Year

Proposals Include Updating Literacy and Health Learning Standards, Increasing Access to Early College and Career and Technical Education, and Rebuilding Department Capacity to Serve the Public

The New York State Board of Regents outlined its budget and legislative priorities today. These priorities focus on supporting lifelong learning opportunities, providing a P-20 continuum in education, and advancing equity in education for all students. Additionally, increasing the Department’s capacity to deliver support to districts, teachers, students, and all New Yorkers is imperative, State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced.

The Board’s comprehensive legislative and budget proposals include supporting districts with rapid enrollment growth, providing resources to meet the increasing demand for career and technical education and early college programs, and bolstering supports and services for students with disabilities. The priorities also include funding to support English Language Learners, stabilizing revenue for cultural education, and additional funding for higher education opportunity programs to reach and support more students.

To carry out these strategic priorities, the Board has identified the need for a $4.3 million investment in agency-wide infrastructure to rebuild the Department’s capacity to better serve the public. The proposed funding would support the hiring of staff and purchase of external technology and services. It also would invest in information technology, data system, and human resources to continue progress toward NYSED’s goal of providing world-class customer service and improved supports for districts, teachers, students, parents, professionals, and the public.

Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said, “The educational landscape is undergoing rapid changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting economic demands, and technological advancements. All across our state, schools, and universities are having to adapt quickly to new, remote, and other innovative instructional models. While the State Education Department (SED) and the Board of Regents are thankful for the historic investments made in prior years to foster innovation and adaptability, it is essential that the SED's infrastructure delivers enhanced services and support for all New Yorkers. The priorities outlined in our request will ensure that resources are available to support schools, advocate for children, and provide efficient and timely services to the public."

Commissioner Rosa said, “To sustain this important work, we are requesting funding to enhance and build our capacity and infrastructure so the Department can provide New York’s students, teachers, and families with world-class service and supports. This strategic investment will pave the way for a robust and responsive education system that ignites a dynamic and enriched learning environment for all. The legislative and budget priorities announced today will help increase access to lifelong learning and educational equity for all New Yorkers.”

State Aid Proposal

The Regents State Aid proposal calls for an additional $1.6 billion in State Aid for the 2024-25 school year. The Board of Regents is committed to modernizing and streamlining school aid formulas to ensure equity and access to a world-class education through three key proposal components:

  • $926.8 Million in Foundation Aid to ensure an increase in funding for the state’s neediest districts;
  • $343.4 Million to modernize the formula, updating the poverty, free-reduced price lunch, and high need designations; plus $1 million to contract with researchers to review the efficacy of the current formula; and
  • $359.4 Million for other aid programs, reimbursing districts under current law. The proposal would also provide relief for districts with sudden increases in enrollment, aid for students with disabilities between 21 and 22 years of age, enhance payable BOCES Aid and Special Services Aid to include ninth grade, and the streamlining of prekindergarten funding.

Budget and Legislative Priority Highlights

To support the Department’s mission to raise the knowledge, skill, and opportunity of all people in New York, the 2024-25 Regents and Department budget and legislative initiatives prioritize three key areas of critical need including fostering lifelong learning, academic success, and improved outcomes; advancing equity, excellence, and access; and rebuilding the Department’s capacity to best serve the public.

To address these areas of critical need, the proposal includes:

  • $20.3 million for IT System Needs: This includes the $4.3 million to rebuild agencywide infrastructure and an additional $16 million would go towards a statewide longitudinal data system and special education data system.
  • Stabilizing Cultural Education Revenue: Creating either a reliable base State general fund appropriation of $17 million or a $10 fee increase. Most of the operational funding for the State Museum; a substantial portion of funding for the State Archives and the State Library; and all funding for the Office of Public Broadcasting and Educational Television is based on a fee that has not changed in over 20 years, despite an approximately 60 percent increase in inflation.
  • $1.4 Million to Update the Learning Standards: Subject-matter professionals are vital to modernize two mandatory areas of instruction: literacy and health. Literacy standards must be updated across grade levels to incorporate the science of reading and best practices. And 20-year-old health standards must be updated to reflect current scientific research. The New York State Learning Standards must also be aligned with the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework.
  • $1.7 Million for Charter School Office: Funding is needed to maintain services and staff that were previously funded by an expiring federal grant.
  • $11.1 Million for Opportunity Programs in Higher Education: Funding for the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), and the Liberty Partnerships Programs (LPP), which make higher education possible for many students that would otherwise be unable to attend and prevent drop out once enrolled. Additional funds allow these programs to reach and support more students.
  • Support for Career and Technical Education (CTE): Though demand for CTE coursework is growing, the availability of these services is limited by state support for the costs of this instruction and grade-levels of students served. The proposal includes increasing the portion of teacher salaries for which the State will pay aid across all BOCES programs, in order to enable districts to make CTE available to more students. Expanded support also is needed for students in occupational and business courses in districts that are not components of a BOCES, including the Big Five City School Districts. These programs are supported by Special Services Aid. In addition, expanding support to include ninth-grade students would provide greater access to these programs.
  • Teacher Recruitment Pipeline: Many districts struggle to find qualified teachers in key areas. The Board requests funding to facilitate a statewide approach and a campaign to address teacher recruitment and retention issues, as well as lack of diversity in the profession. The Department proposal includes $3.7 million in new funding over three years, with $1.2 million for year one.
  • Funding for Assessment Translations: Translations of exams allow our English Language Learners to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject area content, while their English language skills are still developing.
  • $70.5 million to Provide Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) to Students with Disabilities until Age 22: Funding is required to meet legal requirements to provide special education and related services to resident students with disabilities until age 22, or the day before the student’s 22nd birthday, unless they have obtained a high school diploma.
  • $2 Million to Support the Post-Secondary Success of Students with Disabilities: Additional funds would allow postsecondary schools to enhance the supports and services they provide to their enrolled students with disabilities including creating college prep programs to assist in transitioning to college; providing faculty and staff at SUNY, CUNY, and other independent degree granting institutions of higher education with training; and/or improving the identification process of students with disabilities and enhance data collection capabilities at institutions of higher education.
  • $2 Million for New York State Summer School for the Arts and scholarships: This funding provides residential programing and scholarships during the summers of 2024 and 2025.

A full description of the Board’s 2024-25 Legislative and Budget priorities may be found on the Department’s website.

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