The Education Trust–New York, an equity-focused statewide education policy and advocacy organization, issued the following statement from Executive Director Ian Rosenblum:
“We are grateful that Governor Cuomo made college affordability a budget priority and offered a tuition-free college plan that can help create a college-going culture for all students. The new investment in Open Educational Resources at SUNY and CUNY is a positive step that can help bring down textbook costs. However, while providing historic aid for middle-class students, the final budget does far too little to close the affordability gap that persists for low-income families. Additional action is needed to address college access, affordability, and completion so that higher education becomes a true pathway to opportunity for all New Yorkers.
The K-12 budget’s Foundation Aid increase of $700 million will help address the resource needs of New York’s public schools, which remain among the most inequitably funded in the nation. We are pleased that the final budget preserves the Foundation Aid formula while making some necessary updates and providing important transparency and predictability for future funding.
The final budget also contains other investments that will improve equity, including increasing funding and streamlining programs for 3- and 4-year-old pre-kindergarten and expanding the statewide Pathways in Technology Early College High School (PTECH) program.
Finally, New York’s passage of ‘raise the age’ legislation is a historic step in treating youth fairly and helping them turn their lives around. New York must stand up for vulnerable youth and promote redemption strategies that reconnect young people to their education and communities.”