Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) announced that he helped secure critical funding in the Assembly budget proposal for local schools as well as vital programs and services. The Assembly plan makes major headway in ensuring every student has the opportunity to succeed.
Education is the gateway to success, and we have a responsibility to make sure every student has the keys to open up those doors and reach their full potential, said Ramos. The Assembly budget proposal is our commitment to giving kids on Long Island and across the state every tool in the toolbox to strive and succeed.
The Assembly budget proposal provides a $1.6 billion increase in education funding, for a total of $28.4 billion. This includes $18.9 billion in Foundation Aid for public schools, a $1.16 billion increase from the previous year, and the proposal would fully phase in Foundation Aid over the next three years. The proposal also aims to make higher education more attainable for all New Yorkers by restoring and increasing funding for college opportunity programs by $23.8 million, including:
- $41.4 million for the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), which is $5.9 million more than the executive budget proposal;
- $37.5 million for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), which is $5.4 million more than the executive proposal;
- $32.8 million for Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK), which is $4.7 million more than the executive proposal;
- $21.4 million for Liberty Partnerships, which is $3.1 million more than the executive proposal;
- $18.4 million for the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), which is $2.6 million more than the executive proposal;
- $13.9 million for the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP), which is $2 million more than the executive proposal; and
- $1.6 million for College Discovery, which is $225,000 more than the executive proposal.
The budget proposal also provides $61 million for Educational Opportunity Centers (EOCs), which work with adults in disadvantaged areas who have an interest in continuing their education, focusing on financial and economic literacy.
Opportunity programs are invaluable in making higher education more accessible to New Yorkers, said Ramos. We know that students from disadvantaged areas are less likely to be able to continue their education past high school and that needs to change. Where you were born and where you grew up should never act as a barrier to success.
In addition to increasing funding for opportunity programs, the Assembly budget proposal also includes $18 million for the My Brothers Keeper initiative, a program introduced by President Obama to close the opportunity gaps facing young men of color through mentorship and support networks within their communities. New York became the first state to enact the program thanks to the Assemblys leadership three years ago.
Further, to address teacher shortages, the Assembly budget provides $3 million to fund the We Teach NY grant program to recruit educators in high-need areas.