New York State Budget Recap
Law enforcement, business, and retired military leaders support progress in New York state budget to help children be citizen-ready
This year, members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Mission: Readiness, and ReadyNation spoke out in support of proven programs that help start kids on the right track and grow up to be successful.
Two days before the April 1st deadline, the $168 billion budget deal was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. This year’s budget brings state education funding to $26.7 billion, a major portion of the total $168 billion budget.
“The high-quality programs that this budget funds, like pre-k, afterschool care and other initiatives, are proven investments that help keep kids on the path towards success,” says Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb of Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office and Fight Crime: Invest in Kids member. This message was conveyed to state legislators in a letter of support signed by 56 other Fight Crime: Invest in Kids members in early March.
Highlights of the outcomes from this session are:
- The approved spending plan includes a $15 million investment in prekindergarten to expand high-quality half-day and full-day prekindergarten instruction for 3,000 three- and four-year-old children across the state.
- The budget includes $10 million in funding for a second round of Empire State After School Awards. This funding will provide an additional 6,250 students with public after school care in high-need communities across the state, specifically targeting districts with high rates of childhood homelessness.
- The approved budget also includes a plan for anticipated federal funds for child care between $105 million and $128 million that the state will receive.
The benefits of high quality pre-K programs are well documented. A study of the Perry Preschool Program showed that by age 27, children born in poverty and at high risk of failing in school who were not served by that high-quality preschool program were thirty percent more likely to be chronic offenders with five or more arrests. High-quality pre-K programs can also help improve military eligibility by helping young children learn positive behaviors and healthy habits that carry into adulthood.
The hours after school gets out are a prime time for juvenile crime if children don’t have a safe environment that reinforces the skills they are learning in school. Studies of quality after school programs have found significant improvements in students’ behavior in and outside of the classroom. 74% of parents think their children are away from risky behavior thanks to afterschool programs and 67% of parents say afterschool programs excite their kids about learning.
Child care is not only a support for today’s workforce, but also helps build a productive workforce for tomorrow. As of 2016, nearly two-thirds of New York’s children (860,000 under the age of six) have all available parents participating in the workforce. When this many children are being cared for outside of the home, the bar on quality and safety can never be too high, especially if you want to see results that translate to academic and career success later in life.