Gov. Cuomo Criticized In School Aid Funding Report

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at the New York State Pipe Trades conference on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Lake George, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at the New York State Pipe Trades conference on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Lake George, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

The Alliance For Quality Education has released a report regarding New York State school aid that also “fact-checks” Gov. Andrew Cuomo along the way.

The AQE report, “Alternative Facts and Historical Fiction: Fact Checking Governor Cuomo on School Aid,” focuses on the Foundation Aid Formula, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity and the Governor’s education funding record.

Billy Easton, AQE executive director, said the governor has distorted facts to justify his inability to provide children across the state educational opportunities that are their constitutional right.

“The negative consequences have been the most dramatic for black and brown children who are owed 58 percent of the Foundation Aid he now proposes to permanently repeal,” Easton said. “The consistent reliance on falsehoods about school funding may serve the Governor’s short-term political interests, but it does not serve our children well.”

According to the report, the Governor’s administration has said the Governor is not proposing to eliminate the Foundation Aid Formula in the upcoming budget, however, the State Assembly’s review and analysis of the 2017-18 budget differs from this, stating “the executive eliminates the Foundation Aid formula and the future obligation of $4.3 billion.”

The Foundation Aid is a funding formula used to calculate aid for districts in a more equitable fashion, and ensure that districts receive the funding necessary to meet the educational needs of the students. The formula was enacted in 2007, however, in 2009, the formula was frozen and cuts were made in education aid which totaled $2.5 billion.

The report also found that New York state has the second largest spending gap in the nation between wealthy and less wealthy districts, leaving a gap of $9,796 per pupil between rich and poor schools.

Gov. Cuomo’s Executive Budget suggests a year-to-year funding increase of $961 million or 3.9 percent for the 2017-18 year. For 2017-18 Foundation Aid, districts statewide which includes 205 high-need districts, will receive $16,902.10 million which is an increase of $427.82 million or 2.6 percent.

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