January 7, 2014
CCC testified at the New York State Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means hearing on the State Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Executive Budget proposals regarding education on January 28, 2014.
The State Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Executive Budget contains many important proposals aimed at improving education for New York’s children. These proposals include the creation of a $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Initiative to support infrastructure (technology and new classroom space) in schools, which if approved will be put to voters in November 2014. The Executive Budget proposes to expand full-day universal pre-kindergarten to four-year-olds with an initial investment of $100 million in SFY 14-15 that grows to $500 million in five years and proposes to increase support for after-school programs starting in the 2015-2016 school year. CCC’s testimony supported these proposals and makes recommendations for further steps to strengthen education. First, CCC acknowledged the $603 million increase in School Aid, but urged the State to significantly expand this investment to meet the obligations of the CFE lawsuit. Second, CCC urged the legislature to improve New York City’s plan fora modest tax increase on the City’s highest earners so that the City can provide UPK for all 4-year-olds and after-school programs for all middle schoolers.
The Executive Budget also included proposals to significantly alter the SEIT system for preschool special education and to allow school districts to waive out of State special education requirements. CCC’s testimony opposed all of these proposals.
Finally, CCC testified that New York State should help families save for higher education costs by allowing them to split their tax refunds into more than one savings account, including a 529 college savings account.