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April 7, 2021

“This is a monumental moment in the fight for education equity in New York State.”

WHITE PLAINS, NY — Today, Congressman Mondaire Jones (D-NY) released the following statement on the New York State legislature’s agreement to fully fund Foundation Aid.

“This is a monumental moment in the fight for education equity in New York State. After nearly a decade, New York is finally making good on its court-mandated obligation to provide full funding under the Foundation Aid formula to ensure that every child in New York State receives the sound, basic education to which they are entitled under the state constitution. Complete funding will be transformative for the Harmed Suburban Five school districts, including Ossining and Port Chester, which are in my district. It will also be a major boost to school districts like East Ramapo, North Rockland, and Peekskill, among others, which have for too long been unjustly denied the level of state funding to which they are constitutionally entitled.

To be clear, this victory was made possible by the tireless work of parents, educators, activists, and Democratic state legislators who organized for years to get the state to make good on its moral and legal obligation to our young people. Justice should never have been delayed, and thanks to their dedication, today, our students are finally getting the investment they deserve. I was proud to fight alongside this coalition as a community organizer before I ran for Congress, and I’ll continue to work in partnership with them to ensure we invest in our children.”

Congressman Jones has been a longtime advocate for Foundation Aid. In 2019, he spoke out about the urgent need for New York State to fully fund Foundation Aid for school districts like East Ramapo and penned an op-ed in the Journal News calling for fairness in Foundation Aid before running for Congress.

About Mondaire: Mondaire Jones is the 33-year-old Congressman from New York’s 17th District, serving Westchester and Rockland Counties. He serves on the House Judiciary, Education and Labor, and Ethics Committees and is the first openly gay, Black member of Congress. A product of East Ramapo public schools, Mondaire was raised in Section 8 housing and on food stamps in the Village of Spring Valley by a single mother who worked multiple jobs to provide for their family. He later graduated from Stanford University, worked at the Department of Justice during the Obama Administration, and graduated from Harvard Law School. He is a co-founder of the nonprofit Rising Leaders, Inc. and has previously served on the NAACP’s National Board of Directors and on the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union. Most recently, Mondaire worked as a litigator in the Westchester County Law Department. In November, Mondaire was unanimously elected by his colleagues to be the Freshman Representative to Leadership, making him the youngest member of the Democratic House leadership team. In December, Jones was appointed a Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and became a Co-Chair of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus. Mondaire was born and raised in Rockland and resides in Westchester.