Assemblywoman: Some St. Lawrence County schools getting Foundation Aid hikes
Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, says the 2018-19 state budget, provides "critical funding needed for local school
districts to provide quality programming to their students."She voted in favor of the spending blueprint.
"Our students deserve the best shot at being successful in life. We live in an area with tremendous poverty, which sometimes makes it feel like the deck is stacked against us," she said in a prepared statement. "Foundation aid is the equalizer for our students and their families. That's why I focus so much on working to make sure our North Country schools get our fair share of school funding.
"It has the ability to positively impact our youth for years to come and ensure they reach their full potential as working adults."
The state budget increases Foundation Aid by $618 million for a total of $17.8 billion. Her office says she joined her colleagues in the state Assembly in fighting for a significant increase in Foundation Aid in the 2018-19 budget.
"I've seen the challenges many of our North Country schools are facing as they work on their budgets this year, and this additional aid was critical to maintain staff and programs necessary to best meet the needs of our students," Jenne said.
The Foundation Aid increases funding for school districts in St. Lawrence County:
• $12,063,923 for the Canton Central School District, an increase of 2.64% over last year;
• $2,709,750 for the Hammond Central School District, an increase of 4.7% over last year;
• $6,095,573 for the Heuvelton Central School District, an increase of 3.96% over last year;
• $5,497,634 for the Lisbon Central School District, an increase of 4.2% over last year;
• $6,627,304 for the Madrid-Waddington Central School District, an increase of 4.14% over last year;
• $22,698,811 for the Massena Central School District, an increase of 4.76% over last year;
• $3,684,170 for the Morristown Central School District, an increase of 4.2% over last year;
• $10,605,335 for the Norwood-Norfolk Central School District, an increase of 3.8% over last year;
• $19,240,139 for the Ogdensburg City School District, an increase of 1.9% over last year; and
• $10,089,438 for the Potsdam Central School District, an increase of 3.25% over last year.
A news release sent Saturday afternoon from Jenne's office did not include figures for other St. Lawrence County school districts.
In addition, the state budget increases funding for community schools by $50 million for a total of $200 million, and increases the minimum community school funding amount from $10,000 to $75,000.
Community schools funding is used to turn schools in high-need districts into community hubs that offer critical services to at-risk students and their families.
"The state budget continues the Assembly’s commitment to making higher education more affordable, allowing even more North Country students to pursue a college degree. It provides $7.6 billion in higher education funding," Jenne's office said.
The budget also allocates $118 million for the second year of the Excelsior Scholarship program, which makes SUNY schools tuition-free for New York families earning less than $110,000 this year.
The budget expands eligibility for Enhanced Tuition Awards, which provide students attending private colleges up to $6,000 to cover tuition.
“College isn't the only option for our students, but they also shouldn't have doors to a world of opportunities closed due to their financial status,” Assemblywoman Jenne said. “I’ll continue fighting to ensure that the cost of higher education doesn’t prevent New Yorkers from attending college to gain the skills they need to live the American dream.”