Here are 4 steps N.Y. Gov. Hochul proposed to improve education in her 2023 State of the State

Alongside her visions for housing, mental health and public safety, Gov. Hochul previewed plans from her 2023 State of the State to improve New York education for its youngest learners to college students.

The governor outlined legislative priorities during an address on Tuesday to invest in student mental health support and bolster accessible child care programs “as the first mother to lead this state.” Hochul also proposed:

1. More money

Hochul is proposing to increase state funding to local school districts by $2.7 billion — and for the first time, fully fund Foundation Aid, a formula that allocates dollars based on need.

That includes a $250 million set-aside for “high-impact” tutoring programs, where students receive instruction multiple times per week. In total, the state spends $24 billion on the formula.

Hochul also wants to increase spending on prekindergarten programs by $125 million — bringing the state’s total investment to $1.2 billion. The new funds will benefit thousands more children and bring the phase-in of universal pre-K for 4-year-olds to 95%.

2. Improved mental health care

Hochul is looking to invest in school-based mental health clinics and other wraparound services to support student well-being. The governor plans to increase the reimbursement rate by Medicaid to encourage providers to open more sites for school kids.

3. Better access to child care

Hochul proposed increasing the number of children eligible for child care assistance by raising the income limit for a family of three from just under $70,000 to nearly $80,000. That would allow another roughly 113,000 more children to qualify.

The governor also called for increasing access to child care assistance through a centralized online application and regional directories of programs, and expedited enrollment for families receiving benefits that already prove income eligibility like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Less than 10% of families eligible for assistance are currently enrolled in the state’s program.

Finally, Hochul would create a pilot program where the state will match employers’ contributions toward its workers’ child care costs. In some regions of the state, employers who reimburse families earning 85-100% of median income a third of the cost of care, and the state will help reduce out-of-pocket costs and make it easier for parents to enter the workforce.

4. Tuition hikes at SUNY and CUNY

Hochul would authorize tuition hikes at SUNY and CUNY by 3% or the Higher Education Price Index, an inflation index of goods and services frequently purchased by colleges and universities — depending on which is lower.

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