The following can be attributed to Ian Rosenblum, Executive Director of The Education Trust–New York:
“New York’s new budget includes investments and policy changes that will improve equity and educational justice throughout our education system. The enacted budget contains several important and positive steps for students, and is also a reminder of how much more needs to be done to ensure that all students—especially those from groups who have been historically under-served—receive a high-quality education.”
Improving Access to Advanced Courses
“All students must have real access and support to succeed in rigorous middle and high school classes that will spark their imagination and prepare them for success in college and careers.”
“We are grateful to the Governor, Senate, and Assembly for improving equity by enabling more high school students to earn college credit for free or at a reduced cost—addressing a real impediment so first-generation college hopefuls can benefit from Dual Enrollment classes.”
“The enacted budget also includes other vital investments by continuing to expand access to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses, closing the fee waiver gap so more high school students can afford to earn college credit through those classes, continuing to invest in the highly promising Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program, and increasing opportunities for students to pursue Computer Science.”
Across New York State, White students were given nearly twice as much access as their Latino and Black peers to a range of key gatekeeper and advanced courses in middle and high school in the 2016-17 school year. They were nearly three times as likely to be enrolled in advanced courses like Advanced Placement Math and Science. Source: The New York Equity Coalition, Within Our Reach.
Investing in Student Success
“Schools that serve students with greater needs require significantly greater resources than other schools. There are three parts to this puzzle: whether a school district’s overall level of funding from state and local sources is adequate to provide a quality education; whether the school district is directing the most resources to the schools with the greatest needs; and whether schools are spending the money effectively. All three parts are necessary to understand whether our school funding system is equitable. We are pleased that the final budget includes additional funding for high-need school districts through an increase in Foundation Aid, and that it preserves and expands the state’s historic transparency on school-level budgets—which will help ensure that more resources reach the students with the greatest needs.”
Large and mid-sized school districts across the state frequently do not provide their highest-need schools with significantly greater levels of resources so that all students receive the support they need to succeed. Ed Trust–NY’s online school funding data tool provides easy-to-understand access to school-level budget data, and our toolkit enables parents to ask their local district officials to improve equity as they develop their budgets for the upcoming school year. Source: The Education Trust–New York, NYSchoolFunding.org data tool.
Reducing Suspensions and Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline
“Schools must take steps to support all students in the classroom, not push them out of it. Implementing restorative practices requires training and support, and we are grateful that the enacted budget invests $3 million that can be used towards this purpose. However, New York must also strengthen its laws and regulations to better protect students by addressing the over-use of suspensions. It is disappointing that progress has not been made to end this systemic injustice, and that even the Executive Budget’s call for a report to identify ‘comprehensive statewide discipline reform’ was rejected. We believe immediate action is necessary and we hope the Legislature will address the need to reduce suspensions in its post-budget session.”
New York schools suspended a student at least once every minute during the 2016-17 school year. That year, New York State’s education system suspended Black students at more than four times the rate of White students outside of New York City and more than five times the rate of White students in New York City. Source: The New York Equity Coalition, Stolen Time.
Improving Teacher Diversity
“All students deserve access to strong, well-supported, and diverse teachers. We are encouraged by the enacted budget’s continued investment in the Teacher Opportunity Corps program, inclusion of the teacher diversity pipeline project in Buffalo, and the ‘We Teach NY’ initiative.”
One-third of all New York schools had no Black or Latino teachers in the 2015-16 school year. As a result, more than 115,000 Latino and Black students were enrolled in schools without a single full-time same-race/ethnicity teacher, and nearly half of the state’s White students attended schools without a single full-time Latino or Black teacher. Source: The Education Trust–New York, See Our Truth.
Student Loan Debt
“With the federal government’s failure to protect students from abuses in the student loan servicing industry, we applaud the Governor, Assembly, and Senate for taking strong action on behalf of students and borrowers and leading the way. It is also deeply unfortunate that the Legislature failed to enact one of the most progressive proposals in this year’s budget: accountability for for-profit colleges that would end abuses that harm New Yorkers.”
Between 2016 and 2017 the amount of student loan debt New Yorkers collectively owed increased from more than $86 billion to over $90 billion. The problem was particularly acute in communities with average household income under $50,000, where the total inflation-adjusted debt burden increased by 44 percent in just six years and with average delinquency rates that far exceed that of wealthier communities. Source: The Education Trust–New York, Drowning in Debt.
College Affordability & Success
“We are thrilled that New York’s DREAM Act will finally be enacted into law, helping more New Yorkers afford college. In addition, we are grateful that the final budget restores key investments in proven programs and makes new investments to help students—including those who have been historically under-served—successfully complete college.”
“We look forward to continued progress on issues of access, inclusivity, and equity as we move forward with the implementation of this year’s budget and the remainder of the legislative session.”