School might be over but lawmakers are still in session. At least for a few more hours.
Need proof that your advocacy makes a difference? There will now be a Cost-Of-Living-Adjustment increase on the direct costs associated with 853 and Special Act schools for the 2013-14 school year. These schools had not had an increase since 2008. (More than 20,000 faxes through NYSUT’s Member Action Center reached lawmakers urging this.)
Now, the affected schools will see a 3-percent increase in their direct costs. Since direct costs typically range from 60 percent to 80 percent of all costs, this creates a total increase in their tuition rate. This is great news for these students — many of whom are our most vulnerable students — and good news for our members who work to educate them.
While that is a recent win, remember that that just a few months ago you convinced lawmakers to make a number of changes to the governor’s proposed budget. Thanks to you, they:
- increased support for community colleges by $150 per FTE,
- turned back a pay-for-performance program ties to community college base aid,
- restored $28 million for SUNY hospitals,
- restored $14.26 million for Teacher Centers,
- added $4 million in aid to public libraries, and
- approved a nearly $1 billion increase in state aid to schools.
While the basic aid increase of nearly $1 billion still does not restore funding to the levels it was before the financial meltdown, it did help limit cuts to programs and resources for students this year.
Today, we’re still fighting to get testing legislation passed to protect students and patient handling legislation passed to protect patients and nurses. We’re also continuing our efforts to keep SUNY Downstate Medical Center open, and working on many more bills. Keep watching the website for updates.