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NY Gov. Cuomo proposes $1.1B increase in education funding

Posted: 5:22 PM, Jan 21, 2015
Updated: 2015-01-21 17:22:03-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a $1.1 billion increase in education spending in New York, along with changes to a teacher evaluation system he mocked as “baloney.”

During a combined state of the state and budget address in Albany Wednesday, Cuomo announced what he called an ambitious reform package that also would allow an additional 100 charter schools to open and extend mayoral control of schools in New York City and possibly elsewhere.

Cuomo called the current statewide system of evaluating teachers “baloney” and proposed changing it to rely even more heavily on students’ performance on standardized tests.

In a statement, the New York State United Teachers called the governor “misinformed” an*d said Cuomo’s proposal falls short of the $2.2 billion the union says is necessary to meet students’ needs.

More than 80 state lawmakers have joined a long list of advocates urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to include a big boost in spending among any education proposals he lays out in his combined budget and State of the State address.

“Nobody wants to throw money at a problem,” Assembly Education Committee Chairwoman Catherine Nolan told reporters a day before Wednesday’s speech in Albany. “But our schools have had to cut art, music, extracurricular activities. Class sizes have gone up.”

“It’s time to move beyond politics, Gov. Cuomo,” said the narrator of the New York State United Teachers’ ad.

Nolan was among 80 Assembly and Senate members who signed a letter Tuesday asking Cuomo to increase education funding by $2.2 billion. The policymaking Board of Regents has recommended a $2 billion increase in school aid, while the Educational Conference board, a coalition that includes the state Parent Teacher Association and Council of School Superintendents, has recommended a $1.9 billion increase.

New York spent about $22 billion on education last year, which is about $1.1 billion, or 5.4 percent, more than the previous year.