The way New York funds public education is overly complicated and could use more transparency, state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said in a report released Monday. DiNapoli called on state lawmakers to simplify the process during this year’s budget process.
State aid to districts has increased $6 billion to $23.3 billion in 2015-16, according to the report. The proposed state fiscal year 2016-2017 Executive Budget calls for an increase of $991 million in state aid to schools. Total state aid funding for schools is projected to climb to $28 billion by 2019.
Education aid is the largest single state-funded expenditure within the budget, making up an average of 23.6 percent of the state-funded expenditures over the last decade. The share the state spends is expected to rise 2 percent in the next 3 years to more than a quarter of the state budget, according to the report.
Schools are funded in New York by local property taxes, state aid and, to a lesser extent, federal aid. DiNapoli’s report noted that state aid makes up a significant portion of school’s budgets — 35.9 percent in the 2014-2015 school year.
The state attempted an overhaul of it system for education funding nearly a decade ago. That attempt failed, DiNapoli says, and funding for schools has instead become more complicated.
“As stakeholders undertake planning and negotiation for the upcoming budget, there is an opportunity to work towards a simplified, more equitable and transparent model for funding education in New York State,” the report concluded.
You can view the full report here: