01.14.2016 | In response to the release of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2016-2017 Executive Budget, Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) released the following statement:
Governor Cuomo’s proposed education budget misses an opportunity to help tens of thousands of students throughout New York State who need targeted support to succeed in school. We are disappointed that the proposal does not include the funding levels recommended by the New York State Board of Regents for the following priorities:
- An increase of $42 million for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in 2016-2017 and an additional $65 million for these programs to be reimbursed in 2017-2018. Currently, more than 20 percent of students in New York State fail to graduate in four years, and CTE holds the possibility of promoting student engagement and advancement toward college or career readiness.
- An increase of $75 million in 2016-2017 for the education of English Language Learners (ELLs). The most recent graduation data shows that only 34% of ELLs statewide graduated with a high school diploma within four years. The Board of Regents recommended a variety of approaches, including specialized academic programs, professional development, and family engagement, that would give much-needed support to ELLs.
- An increase of $125 million in 2016-2017 for the continued expansion of prekindergarten programs. Research shows that high-quality prekindergarten helps children from low-income backgrounds prepare to succeed in school. However, despite promises to make prekindergarten universal for four year olds, thousands of four-year-old children across the State do not yet have access. We appreciate the Governor’s proposed increase of $22 million for prekindergarten for three year olds, but this funding falls far short of meeting the need.
- An increase of $75 million over two years for family and community engagement to assist families in supporting the education of their children.
We are also disappointed that the proposed education funding falls short of the amount recommended by the Board of Regents and promised pursuant to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit.