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]

One Comment

Click for Comments 
Fed up with it all

I thought the democrats have been in complete control of the legislature for the past three years. They also two full years of control in 2009 and 2010. So what do they mean NOW in control? Seems like if they wanted to get it done themselves they had plenty of opportunities before.

Reply

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

3 men sought for armed robbery in East Elmhurst home invasion near LaGuardia Airport: NYPD

The NYPD is looking for three men who allegedly robbed an East Elmhurst man of tens of thousands of dollars during a home invasion early Monday morning.

Police from the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights responded to a 911 call of an armed robbery at a townhouse located at 108-09 Ditmars Blvd. near 29th Avenue just south of LaGuardia Airport.
The victim had pulled up in front of his home just before 2 a.m. when he was approached by three suspects. One of them pulled out a firearm and forced him inside the townhouse where they stole around $30,000 in cash and a safe that contained an unspecified amount of jewelry, before exiting and driving off in a silver four-door SUV, police said.

Brooklyn man charged with manslaughter, DWI, for Astoria collision that killed his wife: DA

New details have emerged in the case against a Brooklyn man who allegedly crashed into several cars in Astoria last week while driving drunk, and then drove off in the wrecked vehicle to a residential block in Maspeth four miles away with a gravely injured passenger. The passenger turned out to be his wife, who later died, and the boozed driver told investigators that the couple was being followed when the collision occurred, according to the criminal complaint.

Rey Perez, 27, of Caton Avenue in Flatbush, was arraigned on Friday in Queens Criminal Court on charges of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and other crimes for speeding through stop signs last Thursday morning, crashing into another vehicle and two parked cars, before speeding from the scene to Maspeth where he sought help for his wife, 29-year-old Bridget Enriquez, who later succumbed to her injuries.

Woman sought for slashing cabbie during a robbery near LaGuardia Airport: NYPD

Police are searching for a woman who attacked a cab driver in East Elmhurst during a robbery more than two weeks ago.

The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb. 11 after the cabbie picked up the suspect in Manhattan. The driver told investigators that the woman initially wanted to be taken to LaGuardia Airport but instead decided to be dropped off  nearby in front of 89-00 23rd Ave. at around 2 a.m.