Yonkers schools receive $360M boost in aid from state budget, Hochul outlines emissions-free buses plan

Yonkers schools received a big boost from the state budget, with $360 billion to improve the city’s school and pre-K programs.
Photo courtesy Getty Images

Yonkers schools received a $360 million boost from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s record-setting budget that will increase statewide school aid to $2.1 billion and a $125 million increase for the area’s pre-K programs.

Additionally, the recently-passed state budget will provide $100 million in matching funds to provide academic and mental health support for Yonkers school students and educators.

The fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget allocates $360.1 million in state aid to Yonkers schools for the 2022-2023 academic year — an increase of $25.5 million, or 7.6%, over the current school year. This includes 2022-23 Foundation Aid of $246.7 million, a year-to-year increase of $12.7 million or 5.4%. The Yonkers City School District also receives $19.6 million of video lottery terminal aid and an additional $12 million in the state Education Department budget.

Yonkers, with a population of more than 210,000, is the third-largest city in the state trailing only Buffalo and New York City.

The state budget also increased school aid in the Mid-Hudson region by $358.7 million, or 13%, including a $267.3 million, or 15% increase in Foundation Aid. This increase is largely driven by the second year of the three-year phase-in of full funding of the Foundation Aid formula.

“Our FY 2023 State Budget includes historic investments that will make a difference in people’s lives now and for years to come, including a record investment in our public schools — the largest in state history,” 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 (Andrea) Stewart-Cousins for her collaboration on this budget which unleashes the power of New York’s education system.”  

In an effort to advance the governor’s goals for sustainability, the budget requires that all new school bus purchases be zero emissions by 2027 and all school buses on the road be zero emissions by 2035. The budget will provide $500 million through the Environmental Bond Act to support school districts in purchases of zero-emission buses and related charging infrastructure including charging stations, the governor’s office said in a statement.

Additionally, the state budget authorizes school districts to lease or finance zero-emission buses for 12 years, more than double the current five-year limitation for diesel buses, in order to help districts meet this goal, and ensures Transportation Aid is provided on zero-emission buses and related charging infrastructure.

The Clean Green Schools initiative provided in the “Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act” will serve more than 1,000 public schools and benefit nearly 1 million students. The program facilitates infrastructure upgrades, such as geothermal heating and cooling, solar, green roofs and indoor air quality and ventilation.

Reach Robbie Sequeira at rsequeira@schnepsmedia.com or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes

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