Gracemarie Rozea, President
Kyle McCauley Belokopitsy, Esq., Executive Director
While we continue analysis of the State Budget, we are renewed by a commitment to support children both in school settings and in the community.
"NYS PTA continues to stand ready to support children and families and we are pleased that Foundation Aid was a priority," said NYS PTA President Gracemarie Rozea. "We will continue to advocate for adequate and equitable funding so ALL children, no matter their zip code, receive a high-quality education which prepares them for citizenship, college or career."
NYS PTA is supportive of the increased $1.1 billion in funding for schools, including the $700 million increase in Foundation Aid. While this increase was less than what NYS PTA called for, we look forward to continuing to work with the legislature and Governor to see that the $3.6 billion still outstanding in Foundation Aid is quickly addressed in coming years. We are pleased that the Foundation Aid formula remains intact while recognizing a need to modify the indicators for poverty levels.
While we fully recognize a parent's decision on where to send their child for school, we are, however, concerned with funding increases to the charter industry. As scarce resources continue to be diverted from public schools to charters, there must be more accountability and transparency in the use of these funds and other practices. Further, we continue to be concerned with how students with disabilities and English Language Learners are supported by certain charter schools.
NYS PTA is supportive of increased access and affordability to higher education and look forward to continued expansion of these programs in future years. However, we are disappointed that language for BOCES aidable salaries for certain educators and related Special Services Aid was not included in the final budget, and we will continue to advocate for additional resources for career and technical (CTE) programs and salary reimbursements and funding for CTE teachers.
We will also continue to call for common sense exemptions and modification of the tax cap, which were not included in the State Budget.
NYS PTA renews our advocacy efforts to fully ban the marketing of electronic cigarettes and other vaping systems to children.
"Supporting the whole child is critical for NYS PTA and we will continue our strong call for banning the marketing of electronic cigarettes and other vaping products towards children," added Dana Platin, NYS PTA Vice President for Advocacy.
We are also fully supportive of increases to prevent and treat heroin and opioid abuse and addiction, and are pleased that Raise the Age legislation was included.
NYS PTA Executive Director Kyle Belokopitsky added, "We would like to especially thank the many legislators who tirelessly advocated in support of our public schools. Our work is never done as we stand ready and willing to continue to Lead the Way for ALL children."