News & Press: Breaking News

2020 Executive Budget Briefing Book Analysis

Tuesday, January 21, 2020  
Posted by: Jacqlene McAllister

Earlier today, Governor Andrew Cuomo released his Executive Budget Proposal. His proposal included a 3% increase in school aid comprised of:

     Category of Increase                                                Change (millions)

Foundation Aid

$504 (Community School Set-Aside $50)

Targeted High-Need District Foundation Aid


Reimbursement for Expense-Based Aids


Expanded Prekindergarten for 3 and 4-Year-Olds


Empire State After School Program


Early College High Schools


Master Teachers Program


Curriculum on Diversity and Tolerance


STEM Entrepreneur


Other Education Initiatives


Proposed School Aid Increase


While the Executive Budget legislation and school aid runs are currently unavailable, there are several policy proposals present in the 2020 Executive Budget Briefing Book we’d like to highlight.

Foundation Aid / Expense Based Aids:

The Executive Budget provides an increase of $704 million in Foundation Aid; however, there are several things to note. This increase includes a $200 million allocation for High-Need districts and a $50 million Community School set-aside. The Executive Budget also proposes increasing the number of schools receiving community school funding to 440 districts.  While specifics aren’t yet available, the Governor’s presentation noted, “We need to throw out our existing formula.” The Governor then called for a new formula that would drive State Aid to High-Need schools. 

The briefing book also notes, “the Executive Budget recommends the consolidation of 10 expense-based aid categories into Foundation Aid starting in the 2020-21 school year” – we will be able to provide more details on how this might work once budget legislation is released. Last year, the Governor had proposed capping and block granting 11 expense-based aids. This year he is proposing capping transportation aid at the greater of inflation or inflation plus a district’s enrollment growth, while also changing the transportation aid ratios available to school districts. For building aid, the Governor proposes a new aid tier for projects approved during the 2020-21 school year.

School Funding Transparency:

The Governor highlighted that in FY 2021, all 673 major school districts in the State will report school building-level funding. While there was no expansion noted in the briefing document, we will review budget legislation for further details. We anticipate the Governor will seek to expand on this issue, since his budget address referred to funding differences between schools as a central “civil rights injustice.”

School Tax Relief (STAR) Program

The Governor proposes to reduce the income limit for participation in the STAR Exemption program for property owners currently enrolled to $200,000 (currently $250,000). These homeowners would need to enroll in the STAR Credit program to continue to receive their benefit. 

This proposal also includes provisions to ensure that STAR benefits are not given to property owners who have not paid their property taxes. 

Other Budget Items:

Also included in the Executive Budget proposal is new funding for prekindergarten expansion, the Empire State After School program, Early College High Schools, the Syracuse Comprehensive Education and Workforce Training Center, the Master Teachers Program, curriculum on diversity and tolerance, charter school tuition, and the STEM entrepreneur pilot program. 

ASBO will share school district aid runs and additional analysis as information becomes available. 

Executive Budget Briefing Book Available Here


2020 Executive State Budget Proposal Webinar - NEW DATE & TIME

This webinar has been moved to
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 
9:00 am - 10:00 am

The Governor presented his Executive Budget on January 21st. In addition to school district state aid, this legislation will include the Governor’s policy positions leading into budget negotiations with the legislature. ASBO will be presenting our initial analysis of the Executive Budget via webinar on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 9am. 

Click here to register