This week, the New York State Legislature started passing Fiscal Year 2021 Budget bills. While the budget is not finalized and there are still bills that have not been released or passed yet, we have some important updates to share from the bills that have been released.
Charter School Funding
Per-Pupil Rate: The COVID-19 crisis has reduced the State’s revenues significantly. The impact of the lost revenue is seen in the state aid to districts and the charter school tuition formula. The charter school funding formula for 2020-21 was changed to include a 5.5% reduction in the formula similar to the “pandemic adjustment” rate applied to state aid to school districts in the budget. To find your school’s estimated tuition rates for each sending district, access our Tuition Calculator here.
Bullet Aid: In his 2020 Executive Budget, Governor Cuomo proposed NYC charters receive $24.9 million in bullet aid, which would have been proportionally divided between schools based on enrollment. This was not included in this year’s budget.
Other Items Impacting Our Schools
Re-issuance of Charters: Despite efforts across the charter community to urge the New York State Legislature to support the proposal to re-issue charters (“zombie charters”), the proposal was not included in this year’s budget.
Prevailing Wage: Prevailing wage requirements for private contracts were included in the budget. Projects over $5 million that are paid for with at least 30% public funds are required to comply with prevailing wage requirements. The new law would include important provisions that offer exceptions that could apply to charter school projects. The bill includes the exemptions below:
- Funds that are not provided primarily to promote, incentivize, or ensure that construction work is performed
- Funds provided pursuant to section 2853(3) of the Education Law, which relates to charter school facilities
- Projects by not-for-profits that are not solely a property holding company and whose revenue/support is less than $5M
- Projects leased by the DOE or SCA that are under 20K square feet
- Any project deemed not to be subject to prevailing wage requirements after a review by the Public Subsidy Board