Support / Opposition
June 6, 2023
Letter to Governor Hochul, Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Heastie Regarding Foundation Aid
The phase-in of Foundation Aid is a critical step towards ensuring the state’s investment in schools matches the level of student and community need. Read the full letter here.
MEMORANDUM OF SUPPORT – Relates to payment in lieu of taxes
This bill would make a technical adjustment to the property tax cap law originally enacted in 2011 by incorporating as part of the “tax base growth factor” the value of new property on the exempt side of the tax rolls due to a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement. This formula adjustment would apply to both school districts and municipalities. Read the full memo of support.
ECB SUPPORTS the appropriation of $1 million in the Senate and Assembly One House Budgets for the New York State Education Department to Review the Foundation Aid formula
It has taken more than a decade and a half to get to where the next state budget will finally put us—at the full phase-in of the Foundation Aid formula. Over that time, significant changes have occurred to the demographics of school districts and the scope of programs and services which students depend on. The formula itself, however, has many components that have remained static or become outdated. Read full statement.
Revise Small City School District Debt Limit - S.8803 (Mayer)/A.9988 (McDonald)
All the member organizations comprising the New York State Educational Conference Board strongly
support this proposed amendment to the State Constitution to align debt limitations for small city school districts with those of other fiscally independent school districts—districts subject to annual voter approval of their local tax levy amounts. Read in full.
S.1046-E (Myrie)/A.6678-E (Walker) Statement of Concerns
After several amendments in the closing weeks of the 2022 Legislative Session, both houses of the Legislature once again amended S.1046-E (Myrie)/A.6678-E (Walker) over the holiday weekend. After careful review of the current language, and thoughtful consideration of the gravity and importance of apolitical elections for school budgets and school board members, the members of the Educational Conference Board (ECB) have many questions and concerns as to how this bill will impact school budget, capital and merger/consolidation votes. Read in full.
Education Budget Briefing – Friday, February 18, 2022 – Virtual Presentation
Leaders from the New York State Educational Conference Board1 will conduct a special briefing session for lawmakers, legislative/executive office staff and media to discuss the Executive Budget and the needs of students, parents, educators, and public schools. ECB leaders will discuss School Aid and the NYS School Meals Program.
Please register in advance for this meeting here.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
2021-22 Executive Budget Reaction
New York’s students and the professionals working throughout our public schools have experienced unprecedented challenges throughout this year. From a financial standpoint the past year may have been the most unpredictable for public schools in modern history. Further, the pandemic has highlighted the inequities in our public education system and has required districts to rethink their instructional models in unprecedented ways in a compressed timeframe. Sadly, the 2021-22 Executive Budget only adds to those challenges and uncertainties for public schools going forward.
ECB calls for a $2.1 billion state aid increase for 2020-21 and Foundation Aid to be funded and updated
Based on estimates for educational expenses in the coming year and growing student needs, New York’s major statewide education organizations released a report today detailing the need for a $2.1 billion state aid increase for 2020-21.
The funding increase recommended by the New York State Educational Conference Board (ECB) contains two primary components:
$1.6 billion to continue current educational services based on available cost estimates for school expenses in the year ahead; and
$500 million for targeted investments in five critical areas: strengthening school safety and mental health services, supporting receivership schools, addressing the cost of providing specialized services such as special education and English as a New Language, college and career pathways, and professional development.
Read the full press release here.
To read the full report, click here.
Reject Funding Increases for Nonpublic and Charter Schools
While the New York State Legislature debates a final budget, the Senate and Assembly are striving to provide as much support as possible to our public school students. This task is particularly hard in a difficult budget year when the Governor and Comptroller declared an additional unexpected shortfall of $2.3 billion. As the Legislature endeavors to include as much foundation aid for our schools as possible, the Educational Conference Board urges rejection of any funds to support private school STEM teacher salaries. Public dollars should be spent to support our public school students. Read the full memo here.
ECB Opposes “Equity Plans” – State-Mandated School-Funding Redistribution
The Executive Budget proposes to impose state-control over how funding is distributed among schools within school districts. Districts would be required to use part of their increase in Foundation Aid to raise per pupil expenditures in schools determined by a state formula to be “high-need” and “underfunded” relative to other schools within the district at the same level (i.e., elementary, middle, secondary). This would be phased-in over three years. Eventually, any district with at least two buildings at any level could be subject to the requirement.
For multiple reasons as outlined in this memo, the Educational Conference Board and its member organizations strongly urge the legislature to reject this proposal for state control over school funding allocations. Read the memo here.
ECB calls for $2.2 billion state aid increase for 2019-20
Pointing to significant growth in student needs over the last decade, New York’s major statewide education organizations released a report today calling for a $2.2 billion state aid increase for 2019-20.
If enacted, the funding recommended by the Educational Conference Board (ECB) would enable schools to continue current programs and services for students and respond to an increase in student needs, which has occurred in all areas of the state and all types of school districts. Read more.
ECB Supports A.7966-C/S.6551-C to
Expedite School District Reimbursement for Supplemental Charter School Tuition Payments
Currently, school districts advance supplemental payments to charter schools and receive state reimbursement for these payments in the following year. This places an onerous fiscal burden on school districts already struggling to make necessary investments to improve student achievement. This legislation would eliminate the one-year lag in reimbursement thereby enabling school districts outside of New York City to direct additional resources to classrooms. Read more.
Oppose the “Education Affordability” Tax Credit
Senate Revenue Bill, Part OOO
The Senate proposal would remove upwards of $300 million annually from the state general fund in the form of tax credits at a time when the state is over $4 billion behind in phasing-in the Foundation Aid formula and some districts are still struggling to restore student opportunities lost during the Great Recession and its aftermath. Under the proposal, individuals, corporations and partnerships would be eligible for a tax credit of up to 90% on a contribution to organizations that benefit private schools and their attendees. The tax credits could be as large as $875,000 per individual, per year.
Oppose Shifting $70 Million in Special Education Costs to School Districts
The Executive Budget proposes restructuring how summer special education services for school-age students are funded, with the effect that $70 million in costs would be shifted from the state to school districts, including $40 million in added local costs for New York City.
Prior Year Aid Claims
Education, Labor and Family Assistance, Part A (A.9506-A) / Part A-1 (S.7506-A)
Expense-based aids are not always paid to districts on the expected schedule. There are a variety of reasons why this may happen, but frequently updated cost data or a simple clerical error is to blame. In many circumstances, districts are still eligible for the state aid, but on a delayed payment schedule. The State Education Department has an approval process for authorizing these payments and the state has committed to honoring them. Upon approval, these “prior year aid claims” are placed on a list for payment in the order they were received and approved. The ECB supports a sensible plan to accelerate payment against the backlog of these claims. Read more.
Reject School-Based Budget Reporting Mandates
The Executive Budget proposal to link school aid increases to State Education Department and Division of Budget approval of detailed school-based budget statements must be rejected. This measure would apply to the Big 5 school districts beginning in 2018-2019. An additional ten school districts (Binghamton, Brentwood, Elmira, Hempstead, Jamestown, Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Rome, Schenectady and Utica) would be impacted starting in 2019-2020.
Building Aid and Transportation Aid Forgiveness
Education, Labor and Family Assistance, Part A (A.9506-A) / Part A-1 (S.7506-A)
The ECB urges enactment of a renewed period of amnesty, or forgiveness, for school districts who have suffered loss of School Aid due to the late submission of final construction cost reports or transportation contracts. Under current law, school districts can lose out on millions of dollars of state aid simply because of minor technical or clerical issues.
Reject 529 Plan Private School Vouchers in State Budget Revenue Bill, Part BBBB (S.7509-B)
The Tax Cut and Jobs Act that the President signed at the end of 2017 not only endangered public education in New York State by nearly eliminating the State and Local Tax Deduction, and potentially increasing the federal debt, it also authorized funds contributed to 529 college savings plans to now be used for elementary and secondary education. As a result, income generated in these funds would be federally tax-free.