The eight school districts, including Jamestown, who sued New York State under the Small Cities Lawsuit will see a gradual phase-in of the increase in foundational aid they will receive as a result of winning the suit.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the state reached an agreement to settle and discontinue the New Yorkers for Students’ Educational Rights v. New York State case, following through on the State’s commitment to fully fund the current Foundation Aid formula to New York’s school districts over three years and ending the State’s prior opposition to providing that funding.
The litigation, which has been ongoing since 2014, sought to require New York State to fully fund the Foundation Aid formula that was put into place following the historic Campaign for Fiscal Equity cases, and had been previously opposed by the State. Foundation Aid was created in 2007, and takes school district wealth and student need into account to create an equitable distribution of state funding to schools. However, New York State has never fully funded Foundation Aid.
The new settlement requires New York State to phase-in full funding of Foundation Aid by the 2024 budget.
In fiscal year 2022, $19.8 billion, covering 30% of the existing shortfall will be enacted into the state budget. In 2023, 50% of the anticipated shortfall or approximately $21.3 billion will be distributed. And by 2024, $23.2 billion will be budgeted which should eliminate the anticipated shortfall, and fund the full amount of Foundation Aid for all school districts.