The New York State legislature passed the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget in the early hours of this morning. In the face of a crushing deficit and uncertain revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers opted not to reduce funding levels for education programs pertinent to New York’s nonpublic schools. The vote reflects a continued recognition that all students deserve a high-quality education in a safe setting.
Here’s the letter we sent to stakeholders upon passage:
Last year, Teach NYS – backed by the strong support of our community advocates – succeeded in securing unprecedented increases in both STEM and security funding for our schools.
With the onset of COVID-19, the most serious public health crisis in more than 100 years, it has become exceedingly clear how important these victories were.
In 2020, Albany’s imperative to address the pandemic has created a minimum budget deficit of $10 billion. Nevertheless, the New York State legislature passed its FY21 budget today without reducing pertinent education appropriations.
• The STEM program will remain funded at $30 million
• The CAP and MSR programs will remain funded at $77.5 million $115.7 million respectively.
• The state has maintained security funding at $40 million, including $15 million allocation for health, safety and security along with a $25 million allocation the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes (SCAHC) grant program for nonprofits.
Despite an unexpected decline in revenues and massive increase in expenses, Albany’s vote to maintain FY20 funding levels for virtually all education programs reflects a continued recognition that all students deserve a high-quality education in a safe setting. Due to the state of financial receipts, the budget also includes special provisions to allow the state to readjust spending during the fiscal year. We will be closely monitoring the impact of these new provisions on the nonpublic school community.
In the days, weeks and months ahead, we will continue to focus on ensuring that lawmakers understand that pandemics don’t discriminate.
They must include nonpublic schools in any government-funded program enacted to help schools address COVID-19.
Now more than ever, during this unprecedented time of need for our schools, Teach NYS is committed to the absolute assistance for each and every school in navigating state programs and helping them secure as much money as they can and as quickly as they can.
As a community, we will get thru this together.
We wish you and your loved ones only good health, safety, and a Chag Kasher V’Samech.
Executive Director, Teach Coalition