The Education Trust–New York comments on equity issues in final state budget

by | Mar 31, 2018 | Statements

The following statements can be attributed to Ian Rosenblum, Executive Director of The Education Trust–New York.

Improving access to a diverse teacher workforce

“Ed Trust–NY’s ‘See Our Truth’ report raised awareness about the critical role that strong and diverse teachers and school leaders play in student success and in closing achievement and opportunity gaps. In our research, we heard from students and educators of color across the state about the importance of preparing, recruiting, and retaining a diverse educator workforce. We are pleased that the final budget includes a teacher diversity pilot program to expand the pipeline to teaching, a report that will identify comprehensive strategies to improve teacher diversity, and a teacher loan forgiveness program that prioritizes economically disadvantaged students.”

Shining a light on school-level funding inequities

“We know that the level of school funding and how these resources are invested play an important role in student success. By shining a light on school-level funding inequities before the school year begins, the final budget can serve as an important new protection for students of color, low-income students, and other historically under-served groups of students across the state. This law requires transparency in budgeting, which will be a powerful tool for parents and policymakers seeking equity.”

Increasing investment in high-need school districts and higher education

“New York State has one of the most inequitable school funding systems in the nation, with school districts that serve large proportions of low-income students and students of color having on average fewer resources than districts that serve wealthier students. By allocating additional funding to School Aid, and especially to Foundation Aid, the final budget moves New York in the right direction.”

“The final budget also makes critical investments in higher education, including in programs that are proven to improve student success at our public colleges and universities.”

Investing in early childhood education

“Every additional dollar invested in high-quality early childhood education is a wise investment in New York’s future. The final budget’s $15 million increase to expand 3- and 4-year-old pre-kindergarten to 3,000 additional children will provide long-term benefits for students and the state.”

Expanding college and career readiness

“This year’s final budget makes important investments in improving college and career readiness for students whose needs are too often overlooked. We are especially pleased with the decision to expand access to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses, particularly in schools that have lower college-going rates and that do not already have access to these classes, and to support the state’s landmark Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) initiative.”

Addressing hunger and food instability for all students

“Addressing food insecurity in our public schools and at SUNY and CUNY is crucial to students’ health, development and success. The final budget takes important steps, including by expanding access to school breakfast and preventing ‘lunch shaming.’”

“We also believe there are additional steps that New York’s leaders can and should take this legislative session to improve equity ― and none are more urgent than passing the DREAM Act. In addition, following enactment in the final budget of legislation that makes for-profit colleges eligible for the state’s Enhanced Tuition Awards and STEM Scholarship programs regardless of their record on student loan debt and employment outcomes, stronger quality controls and student protections are essential.”