School districts across the state are in wait-and-see mode as the Rockefeller Institute prepares to release an update to the Foundation Aid formula by Dec. 1.

The formula, which is the primary mechanism which determines how much school districts receive in state aid, hasn’t seen a full update since 2007.

During the state budget process this year, Gov. Kathy Hochul had originally wanted to end "Save Harmless," a provision of the formula that ensures school districts receive at least as much funding for the current year as they did for the prior year.  While lawmakers successfully quashed that move, the governor, who is concerned about costs, was able to institute a lower inflationary factor into the funding formula: Rather than a 5% increase, schools received a 2.8% increase.

In April, Hochul announced the Rockefeller Institute would be spearheading the Foundation Aid formula update, to mixed reviews.

According to the Columbia Center for Educational Equity, the proposal “…does no more than delegate the Rockefeller Institute to prepare the governor’s education budget proposal for 2025-2026."

But according to Robert Schneider, executive director of New York State School Boards Association, the Rockefeller Institute has been a good partner.

“We have had open discussions with the Rockefeller Institute. We met with them twice,” Schneider told Capital Tonight. “They are absolutely being transparent , open. They want to collaborate and work with the entire education stakeholder field.”

Schneider said he was hopeful that the process of updating the formula would be made easier with the Rockefeller Institute because it’s run by former New York state Budget Director Bob Megna. 

You can find the dates and locations of the public hearings around the Foundation Aid formula here: