Education investments in the FY 2023 State Budget include:
Historic Education Funding
The State Budget is reflective of Governor Hochul’s strong commitment to education by providing additional funding and services to meet the needs of students, teachers, and schools amid the pandemic. The Budget is providing $31.5 billion in total school aid for school year 2023, the highest level of State aid ever. This investment represents a year-to-year increase of $2.1 billion, or 7.2 percent, compared to school year 2022, including a $1.5 billion or 7.7 percent Foundation Aid increase, representing the second year of Governor Hochul’s three-year commitment to fully fund Foundation Aid.
The Enacted Budget increases the State’s annual investment in high-quality pre-kindergarten to $1.1 billion, an increase of $125 million, or 13 percent. With this funding, school districts will be able to provide access to high-quality, full-day pre-kindergarten across the State for approximately 17,500 additional four-year-old children.
Academic and Mental Health Support
The State Budget includes a total of $100 million of matching funds over two years to be provided to school districts and BOCES with the highest needs to address student wellbeing and learning loss in response to the trauma brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes support for extended school day or school year programs, afterschool programs, mental health professionals and other locally determined initiatives.
Recruiting and Retaining Teachers
The Budget includes funding for new initiatives centered around expanding the workforce for teachers, as well as expanding the means by which professionals from other careers may become teachers.
The Budget creates a state teacher residency program to bring more teachers into schools sooner while providing greater opportunity for support and training as they embark on their careers. The State will also expand alternative teacher certification programs, such as the New York City Teaching Collaborative, to make it easier and more appealing for professionals in other careers to become teachers. Aspiring teachers would apprentice in high-need school districts while pursuing a master’s degree in their field.
The Budget includes initiatives to upskill current paraprofessionals and teaching assistants. There are more than 100,000 paraprofessionals and teaching assistants in New York State schools—a number that is rapidly rising. The Budget will provide grants for paraprofessionals who remain employed in a school district to pursue a teaching degree. School districts would be required to pair candidates with professional mentors.
In order to bolster the workforce and address the teacher shortage, the Budget will temporarily waive the income cap for certain retirees. There are 169,000 retired New York State Teachers, many of whom would be willing to return to teaching by waiving the current pension limit. Certain retirees would have the $35,000 limit removed, incentivizing teachers and other school workers to rejoin the workforce.