Highlights of 2022-23 Enacted Budget

Total School Aid

  • The 2022-23 Enacted Budget provides $30.9 billion in total State support for School Aid for the 2022-23 School Year, an increase of $2.1 billion, or 7.2%.

Foundation Aid Increase and Full Phase-In

  • Increases Foundation Aid for the 2022-23 School Year by $1.5 billion for a total of $21.3 billion.
  • This funding increase reflects the second year of the three-year commitment to fully phase-in the Foundation Aid formula by Fiscal Year 2023-24.
  • Under this phase-in schedule, school districts will receive 50% of their remaining Foundation Aid amount.
  • All school districts will receive a minimum Foundation Aid increase of 3%.

Other Formula-Based Aids

The Enacted Budget includes $9.6 billion in funding for other formula-based aid categories excluding Foundation Aid, $557.9 million more than last year. These aid categories include:

  • BOCES/Shared Services Aid: Increase of $81.6 million, for a total of $1.4 billion;
  • Building Aid: Increase of $56.1 million, for a total of $3.3 billion;
  • Hardware and Technology Aid: Decrease of $29,695, for a total of $34.9 million;
  • High Cost Special Education Aid: Increase of $20.2 million, for a total of $605.1 million;
  • Private Special Education Aid: Increase of $18.9 million, for a total of $407.6 million;
  • Software, Library, Textbook Aid: Increase of $412,827, for a total of $226.2 million; and
  • Transportation Aid: Increase of $274.4 million, for a total of $2.3 billion.

Zero-Emission Buses

The Enacted Budget mandates that beginning on or after July 1, 2027, all school districts must:

  • Only purchase or lease zero-emission school buses when purchasing or leasing new buses;
  • Require, in any procurement for school transportation services, that contractors must only purchase or lease zero-emission school buses; and
  • Require in any procurement for the manufacturing or retrofitting of a zero-emission school bus or charging infrastructure that the components and parts used be produced and engineered in the United States.
  • A waiver may be issued for this requirement if the Commissioner determines that such mandate is not in the public interest, would result in unreasonable costs, or the purchase of these vehicles and infrastructure would increase the cost of a school district’s contract for zero-emission school buses by an unreasonable amount, or they cannot be produced in a sufficient quality or quantity.
  • This provision further mandates that by July 1, 2035, all school district strictly operate and maintain zero-emission school buses or contract with a transportation provider that only operates zero-emission buses when providing transportation services on behalf of the school district.

School District Waivers:

  • School districts may submit an individual waiver request to the State Education Department for a one-time extension of up to 24 months to comply with this mandate.
  • When evaluating such requests, the State Education Department must consider the school district’s effort to comply with this mandate, which could involve: procurement efforts, applications for Federal funds, amending school district operations, and receiving technical assistance, among other things.

Workforce Development:

School districts are required to develop a workforce development plan prior to the beginning of the procurement process for electric buses that addresses the following issues:

  • An estimate of the number of current positions that would be eliminated as a result of this mandate, including those positions at a transportation service provider;
  • Gaps in skills of the current workforce that are needed to operate and maintain a zero-emission bus fleet;
  • A comprehensive retaining plan for employees that will be affected by this mandate; and
  • An estimated budget to transition, train, or retain employees that are impacted by this mandate.

Transportation Aid Offsets:

  • To facilitate this transition, school districts would be authorized to amortize loans for the purchase or renovation of electric school buses for a period of 12 years, as opposed to the current limitation of 5 years that school districts have to amortize their loans for buses and be eligible for Transportation Aid.
  • Expenses related to construction, installation and the usage of electricity or hydrogen to refuel a zero-emission school bus would be considered an aidable expense through the Transportation Aid formula.

NYSERDA Oversight:

  • Starting December 31, 2026, and annually thereafter, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) must issue a report on the availability of zero-emission school buses and charging infrastructure.
  • NYSERDA shall also provide technical assistance to school districts in pursuing State and federal grants or other funding opportunities to support the purchase of electric school buses.

Final Cost Reports and Transportation Aid Contracts:

  • To address the recurring issue of school districts being penalized for submitting Transportation Aid contracts and final Building Aid cost reports after the statutory deadline, the Enacted Budget expunges penalties that have been assessed against school districts for the late submission of Building Aid final cost reports or transportation contracts for Transportation Aid, provided that such late filing was a result of an inadvertent administrative error.
  • The approval of these final cost reports and transportation contracts will allow school districts to receive Building or Transportation Aid that they otherwise would not be entitled to.
  • Any penalties arising from these late filings would be treated as prior year claims and would be paid back to the school district.

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