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Cuomo's education reforms absent from Assembly's $24b aid bill

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State Assembly leaders have released a budget bill that would increase education funding by nearly $1.8 billion to just short of $24 billion.

However, it does not include any of the reforms that Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed such as revising the teacher evaluation process and lifting the cap on charter schools, which he had tied to his aid increase of about $1 billion. 

The one-house bill would increase funding for prekindergarten by $80 million.

Aid specific breakdowns were not part of the budget.

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, chairwoman of the Education Committee, said she is pleased with the large increase in aid.

“I am also pleased that the Assembly recommends rejecting language suggested by the Executive that would arbitrarily close schools using only high stake/high stress test scores as a measure of success,” she said in a news release.

The New York State United Teachers union issued a statement in support of the bill.

“In its one-house bill, the Assembly and its leadership lay out a budget that reflects their keen understanding of public education; recognizes the importance of investing strongly in universal pre-kindergarten; shows the Assembly’s respect for local control; and acknowledges the funding needs of rural, suburban and urban schools.  We must continue to work together to ensure that SUNY, CUNY and our community colleges benefit from a much greater investment by the state,” said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee in a news release. 

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