Once the state's political leaders got past the congratulatory "atta-boys" and backslapping on their most recent effort to reform Albany, the public was left to dig through the details of the legislative agreement.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have finalized the details on a $138 billion dollar state budget and say they are on track to meet the April 1 deadline. The budget includes a multi step plan that could lower property taxes, $340 million dollars for schools to start pre-K programs, and a limited test program for public campaign financing.
New York legislative leaders say they are working together and are close to a budget agreement, after a blowup that left the Senate and Assembly leaders negotiating separately with Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The budget being negotiated in Albany will establish not only how much state aid school districts will receive, but it also could affect the age many kids start going to school, when they begin standardized tests and even influence whether they go to public or private school.
Education issues are prominent this budget season in Albany. This includes the pre-kindergarten debate prompted by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and a tax credit advocated this week by Cardinal Timothy Dolan that could boost Catholic school attendance.
Budget negotiations are expected to get serious at the New York State Capitol this week, with the spending plan due at the end of the month.
The Senate and Assembly are due to put out their one house budget resolutions on Wednesday, the first step toward reaching a final deal with Governor Andrew Cuomo later this month.
There are a number of unresolved issues, including how to pay for and structure a plan to provide universal pre-kindergarten to New York’s four-year-olds. A multi-step plan proposed by Governor Cuomo to freeze property taxes has faced skepticism.
The deadline for the state budget is approaching, and education issues are taking center stage. One day before massive rallies for universal pre-K and charter schools, other advocates say they’ve gathered evidence for potentially another lawsuit for more state aid for schools.
The Alliance for Quality Education has been touring schools around the state to document what they say is erosion in districts in economically depressed areas.