Yonkers Public Schools will be receiving $360.1 million in state aid for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, Gov. Kathy Hochul told teachers, children and public officials during a visit to the Enrico Fermi School in Yonkers on April 28.
The new state budget calls for a total of $31.5 billion to be spent for school aid, the highest level of school aid in New York’s history.
The $360.1 million aid figure for Yonkers represents an increase of $25.5 million, or 7.6%, over the previous school year. This includes 2022-23 Foundation Aid of $246.7 million, a year-to-year increase of $12.7 million or 5.4%. Another source of funding is from taxes on gaming with the Yonkers City School District receiving $19.6 million in Video Lottery Terminal aid.
Hochul said, “The Covid-19 pandemic was an unimaginable experience forced upon our teachers and students, but they rose to the challenge. It is now our responsibility to ensure they have support to get back on track, recover, and thrive and I thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for her collaboration on this budget which unleashes the power of New York’s education system.” State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins is from Yonkers.
According to Hochul’s office, the new state budget increases school aid in the Mid-Hudson region by $358.7 million, or 13.0%.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano commented that the new state funding puts the Yonkers Public Schools “back on the road to academic success. We know that with the injection of funding, nothing can stop our students’ sheer determination and potential.”
Stewart-Cousins, Spano, Sen. Shelley B. Mayer, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, and Edwin Quezada, superintendent of the Yonkers schools, were among those who addressed the audience gathered in the Enrico Fermi School’s gymnasium.
Stewart-Cousins said, “Working together, we were able to bring home these historic levels of funding to our students in Yonkers and across New York State. These landmark investments in students from cradle to college will ensure a bright path forward for New York.”
Mayer, who chairs the State Senate Education Committee, said, “When we said we would fund all schools regardless of children’s zip codes, we meant it.”
Hochul noted that she has made other trips to Yonkers.
“Please don’t tell all the other cities,” she said jokingly. “We were here dealing with the Ukrainian relief … back in March. And I had a chance to sit down with the mayor. Back in October, we were here to tour Hurricane Ida damage.”
She said that she and Spano had talked about how the state and city could do more to work together.
“We’ve had many conversations about what we can do collaboratively because this was not always the case, local government and state government working together,” Hochul said. “I know that, because when I was in local government, I was constantly complaining about state government, so I know what that’s like. But hopefully that’s history and not the present anymore.”
Hochul pointed out that although Yonkers is not “on paper” a wealthy school district, “they’re getting the same or even better results than other districts that are more affluent. This is a story that is powerful locally, but it’s also one that inspires other school districts.”