Support Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs
As your constituent, I urge you to include the provisions contained in S.7818 (Mayer)/A.7122 (Benedetto) in this year’s enacted budget, which increases the aidable salary for all Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and provides resources to help preserve access to CTE programs in BOCES, component districts and the Big 5 school districts.
In 2015, the New York State Board of Regents approved multiple pathways to high school graduation and made changes to the state's diploma requirements. This pathway provides work-based learning opportunities and allows students to take approved, rigorous examinations that test their knowledge of technical skills to fulfill part of the Regents examination graduation requirement.
The New York State Board of Regents has emphasized that funding support is essential for building multiple pathways to high school graduation for students.
The current aid formula for BOCES CTE programs has not increased in 30 years. The state only provides aid for the first $30,000 of a BOCES instructor's salary. The state should update the BOCES aid formula by increasing the aidable salary to the state average salary.
I am also concerned about the special services aid formula, which provides state support for CTE programs in the Big 5 school districts. The formula's starting point is $3,900 per pupil which is then multiplied by the school district’s combined wealth aid ratio, bringing the actual amount of aid per pupil to approximately $3,200 in upstate city districts, approximately $2,000 in aid per pupil in Yonkers and a mere $1,500 in aid per pupil in New York City. This formula should be updated to use the Foundation Aid per student to calculate the aidable amount per student.
Both of these funding gaps reduce state support for CTE instruction and shift the costs of these vital programs to local school districts. New York should provide sufficient funding for CTE in order to respond to the state's increased demand for diverse and technically prepared workers.
In addition, special services aid is currently limited to grades 10-12 in the Big 5 school districts. Ninth grade should be included to align these types of programs with the Regents' adoption for multiple pathways to graduation.
I ask that you advocate for the inclusion S.7818 (Mayer)/A.7122 (Benedetto) in the enacted state budget and include ninth grade in special services aid to help preserve and expand high-quality CTE programs throughout the state. Together, we can ensure that students are prepared to enter the 21st Century workforce.
I thank you for your consideration of these important issues. I would appreciate a reply to my correspondence.
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