Governor Andrew Cuomo's education agenda was always going to have a problem passing the Democratic controlled State Assembly but it now appears it won't pass the Republican controlled State Senate either. That means that the Governor's idea to hold school funding above the 1.7% increase hostage for his education agenda is dead on arrival.
Senate Republican education chair, John Flanagan, told an audience of Long Island school district superintendents and board members yesterday that the Governor's proposed increase of $370 million dollars (1.7% increase) is inadequate. That the State legislature will reject his proposal to link funding to his education agenda that includes a more draconian teacher evaluation system, increased charter schools, and taking over struggling public schools.
Senator Flanagan told the audience that the increase of $1.1 billion dollars (4.8% increase) is the floor and not the ceiling for increased State funding to the schools. Moreover, he also stated that he will push for the State to restore 50% of the money taken by the Gap Elimination Adjustment in next year's budget and that would release an additional $550 million dollars to the school districts.
If John Flanagan is a man of his word, it appears that the Governor's education agenda and budget is dead on arrival.