Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to spend 4.4 percent more on schools next year received a lukewarm reception Wednesday from educators and advocates who praised some of the planned initiatives but said funding would remain short of what it should be under a landmark court ruling six years ago.
Cuomo's budget plan for the fiscal year that starts April 1 includes a 3 percent increase — about $610 million — in education aid plus $203 million to offset high pension contribution costs. An additional $75 million would go toward initiatives highlighted in his State of the State address.
Total spending would rise by $889 million — about $300 per student, according to Cuomo. "It takes many steps in the right direction," said New York State United Teachers President Richard Iannuzzi, "but we still need to address years of inequality and the state's failure to meet its legal obligation, in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case, to address the achievement gap by investing more in its low-wealth, high-need school districts."