CAPITAL REGION, N.Y (NEWS10) – Local school districts are among one of the biggest beneficiaries of this fiscal year budget. After a year of uncertainty, federal and state funding is heading to the classrooms.
“This couldn’t come at a better time, it was desperately needed,” says Bruce Potter, Superintendent of Mechanicville City Schools.
This historic state budget includes $29.5 billion in school funding, a $3 billion increase from the last fiscal year. This budget also includes a $1.4 billion increase in Foundation Aid. This aid is the main source of state funding for public schools and it helps with educational equity.
“On education, we made record investments… funding the lower funded schools to bring them up to offer the best education that we can,” says Gov. Cuomo during his Wednesday press briefing.
The Mohonasen Central School District was projecting a $1.2 million budget deficit for next year. Superintendent Shannon Shine says the new aid will now put them in the black. “This allows us to take a step back, to breathe, and to focus on what we are really here for, providing superlative teaching and learning for our students,” says Shine.
$105 million is also included in this budget, to expand on full pre-k schooling. Mechanicville City School District is 1 of the 210 districts who don’t currently receive state-funded full-day pre-K. Superintendent Bruce Potter says the district can double their expenses because they now have the funds. “Our allocation appears to be 190,000 dollars for universal pre-K. We budgeted for that to start next year but now we’re able to expand that program and double in size compared to what we were going to do which is huge for our kids, the district, and our families — the increase in our foundation aid is nearly 500,000 dollars,” says Potter.