An Ed Trust–NY analysis of Governor Hochul’s 2023 Executive Budget identified a number of critical investments that will help to support New York’s children and families beginning at birth through college and into the workforce.
“The Executive Budget recognizes the incredible toll the ongoing pandemic is taking on New Yorkers, and promises to offer much-needed supports to help students and families get back on track and recover mentally, academically, and economically,” said Dia Bryant, executive director of The Education Trust–New York. “As this budget season and legislative session progresses, we urge lawmakers to make a commitment to New York families by protecting the provisions that aim to foster more equity for all of our residents.”
9 Key Equity Investments in the 2023 Budget:
- Addressing lost instructional time and mental health. This budget’s investment of $100 million over two years into the Recover from COVID School Program provides much-needed financial support to districts serving students with the greatest needs to offer resources such as summer learning, afterschool programs, and access to mental health services.
- Providing free meals for students. The continuation of free school meals for all students regardless of income eligibility is a starting point that will benefit approximately three million students in New York State.
- Investing in housing for runaway and unhoused youth. The Executive Budget’s proposed $2 million increase in funding for runaway and unhoused youth services will provide critical resources to some of our most vulnerable students, providing them with some stability and support at a time of tremendous uncertainty.
- Committing to a statewide attainment goal. The Executive Budget includes a comprehensive plan to make higher education in New York more affordable and accessible, and to help two-thirds of New Yorkers earn a high-quality postsecondary credential or degree by 2030.
- Improving access to higher education financial aid. The Executive Budget includes several key investments into making college more affordable for all students. That includes the $150 million commitment to expand the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), allowing part-time students and students who have been impacted by the criminal justice system to participate, as well as a 10% increase in financial support for students who are economically disadvantaged.
- Increasing family income eligibility for child care subsidies. Increasing eligibility for child care subsidies is a crucial step to helping tens of thousands of New York families access the child care they need so that parents can participate in and advance in the workforce, and to set New York on the path to economic recovery.
- Supporting child care workers. Gov. Hochul’s proposed $75 million into the child care workforce is a testament to the crucial role they play in early childhood development.
- Investing in home visiting. The Executive Budget’s direction of an additional $11 million to home visiting programs, bringing the total level of State support to $41.5 million, will allow the program to serve an additional 1,600 families statewide.
- Expand access to holistic prenatal and postnatal care. Gov. Hochul’s proposal to invest more than $20 million annually to expand access to holistic prenatal and postnatal care will help improve maternal health outcomes, reduce racial disparities, and advance equity for mothers across New York.
Although the 2023 Executive Budget includes a number of promising initiatives that will promote educational equity for all New Yorkers, there are several items not included in the budget that should be considered as the budget and legislative season progresses.
3 Equity Issues We Want to Know More About:
- Investment in explicit strategies to improve diversity in the educator workforce. Gov. Hochul included in her State of the State several priorities that would prioritize diversity in the K-12 educator workforce, including the creation of the Empire State Teacher Residency Program, funding for a new cohort of the Master Teacher Program, and support for school staff members interested in earning their professional certification. These investments are all worthy of further exploration as New York seeks to foster an educator workforce that reflects the rich diversity of the state. Additionally, the Executive Budget proposes investing $106 million for additional full-time faculty at SUNY and CUNY. This investment should be coupled with a commitment to recruiting and retaining a diverse and representative staff in the higher education system.
- Improving access to advanced courses. Even before the pandemic, students from low-income backgrounds and American Indian, Black, and Latinx students were less likely to be enrolled in key advanced courses than their not-low-income and White peers. Legislation introduced by Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Senator John Liu would ensure that more students have the opportunity to participate in these courses. Additionally, Gov. Hochul’s State of the State included a proposal to expand access to dual enrollment programs that would allow high school students to simultaneously earn postsecondary credits. This investment is still worth consideration.
- Supporting efforts to increase financial aid for college completion. Gov. Hochul’s proposal to create a statewide FAFSA Completion Corps that would direct resources to local experts to help students complete financial aid forms would be a critical step toward helping more students to realize the dream of a higher education and should be considered, as well as including FAFSA completion as a part of the culminating high school graduation activities.
Read more about these investments and explore additional resources about these equity issues here.