By Brooklyn Reader

March 21, 2015, 10:08 am

  Click here to view original web page at www.kingscountypolitics.com

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Sate education advocates said today that the Governor, the Assembly and the Senate setting a table target of $1.4 billion for education in the current budget talks is a step in the right direction, but a far cry from what’s needed.

Gov. Cuomo’s original proposal called $1.1 billion in education spending. The Board of Regents proposed $2 billion for education spending while the Alliance for Quality Education and 87 state lawmakers called for $2.2 billion, and the assembly and senate proposals called for $1.8 to $1.9 billion.

Unresolved are the education policy proposals advanced by the Governor as well as proposals by the Assembly and the Senate to expand full-day pre-K.

“$1.4 billion is a step in the right direction, but it is simply not good enough for students who have an urgent need for smaller classes, art and music, and career and technical education or college prep courses,” said AQE Executive Director Billy Easton. “It clearly does not follow the constitutional requirements established in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity court order and the Assembly and the Senate have fallen well below their proposed budgets.  And they have done nothing for pre-K which was promised to every four-year-old in the state. There is still time to add more school funding and it is desperately needed.

The table target announcement came one day after a Quinnipiac Poll showed that Cuomo’s education policy proposals are extremely unpopular with voters in all regions of the state. Those proposals include tying any education spending increases to raining the cap in charter schools, teacher evaluations weighted heavily on student test scores, and allowing the privatization of long-term failing schools.

Cuomo is increasingly coming under criticism for his proposals from education advocacy organizations and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).

“If the Governor is interested in improving his poll numbers on education, he should be visiting schools and talking to teachers and parents, rather than listening to his hedge-fund pals,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

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