You are reading

Western Queens Schools Awarded an Additional $33 Million From State Budget

Long Island City High School will receive more than $2.6 million in funding from the state budget (Photo: Jim Henderson CC 3.0)

April 19, 2021 By Allie Griffin

More than 40 public schools in western Queens will receive a collective $33 million in funding from the recently-passed New York state budget, State Sen. Mike Gianaris announced Friday.

The schools will gradually receive their portion of the funds on a monthly basis beginning in September, Gianaris said.

The influx in funds is the result of a long-standing court decision in which the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that the state was violating students’ constitutional rights by shortchanging them of the funding necessary to meet educational requirements.

A group of concerned parents, who launched The Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE), had filed a lawsuit against the state claiming that their children were not getting a sound, basic education — which prompted the court hearing.

The Court of Appeals ruled in their favor in 2006 and as result, schools statewide were supposed to have received a $5.5 billion increase in basic operating aid, also known as Foundation Aid, over a four-year period from 2007 to 2011.

However, the state legislature had never agreed to earmark the additional funds for schools in the state budget until now.

“That decision was made over a decade ago and we have been fighting ever since to get the required moneys in the budget so that our schools could be made whole,” Gianaris said during a virtual press conference. “It’s been a long time coming.”

With the Democrats firmly in control of the state legislature the funds were finally allocated, advocates said.

“That power shift in Albany is what made this victory possible,” Jasmine Gripper, Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education, said.

Beginning in September, public schools across New York City will receive a total of $11.9 billion — money which they are owed — over the next three years, Gianaris said.

In total, 41 public schools — a mix of elementary, middle and high schools — in western Queens will receive approximately $33 million split among them.

“It’s a lot of money that’s going to be pumped into these classrooms,” Gianaris said. “We’re very excited that this is finally happening after so many years.”

The money will go toward reducing class sizes, the hiring of more counselors as well as providing greater academic support for students, Gripper said.

“This is a huge victory for New York students,” she said. “We know that this is going to be a transformative, systemic change to education when we have this infusion of money coming into our schools.”

School leaders said the funding is especially needed now, as schools help children recover from the trauma of the pandemic and return to in-person classes.

“Working with students from District 30, I know this funding is sorely needed in our schools and at this unprecedented time now more than ever we need resources,” School District 30 Superintendent Dr. Philip Composto said in a statement.

“Senator Gianaris has always supported our schools and advocated for our fair share of Foundation Aid and I am pleased that New York’s students will be receiving the funds they are owed.”

Long Island City High School is expected to receive the most Foundation Aid — an estimated $2,617,077 — among the 41 schools, followed by William Cullen Bryant High School with $2,588,451 and Aviation Career & Technical Education High School with $2,262,555.

The three schools have the largest enrollment numbers of the western Queens schools.

A full list of the 41 schools in Western Queens that will receive the funding and the amount estimated for each school is below.

(State Sen. Michael Gianaris’ Office)

 

 

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the big game in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.