BOARD OF REGENTS
Highlights of the 2008-2009 State Budget
The 2008-09 enacted budget for State Aid to public schools was consistent with the goals advocated in the Regents State Aid Proposal. Record increases in aid were directed primarily to districts with the greatest needs through the Foundation Aid Formula. Increased spending was linked to greater accountability through the Contracts for Excellence.
- General Support for Public Schools (GSPS) was $21.37 billion, an increase of $1.73 billion or 8.8% over the 2007-08 school year.
- The phase-in of the Foundation Aid Formula and of Universal Pre-Kindergarten was continued. The enacted budget maintained the existing minimum increase of 3% in Foundation Aid. Foundation Aid increased from $13.7 billion to $14.9 billion, an increase of 8.8% or $1.2 billion. The phase-in of Foundation Aid was slowed down, so that districts received 37.5% of their final increase, rather than 42.5%.
- Most districts shared in the overall increase. The increase for the median district was 8.3%, with the High Need Urban/Suburban Districts' and Low Need Districts' median increase in excess of 10%.
- Overall, the Computerized Aids continued to be focused on high need school districts, although not to the extent recommended by the Regents or the Executive. Approximately 67% of the increase was directed to high need districts.
- The Budget continued support for Contracts for Excellence, requiring certain districts – those that have at least one school in need of improvement and received an increase above a threshold – to spend a portion of their increase on programs and activities shown to improve student achievement.
2008-09 State Aid to Local School Districts: