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Legislature would boost NY school aid over Cuomo’s budget

ALBANY -- Senate Republicans seek $217 million more in school aid in the 2014-15 state budget while Assembly Democrats seek $400 million more than the increase proposed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Traditionally the legislature increases a governor's school aid proposal, especially in an election year.

Cuomo has committed the state to increases of about 4 percent in school aid. That’s far less than some past school aid increases a decade ago, but double the state’s overall spending each year under the spending cap adopted by Cuomo and the legislature.  State school aid is more than $21 billion a year, one of the highest levels of spending in the country.

But the Alliance for Quality Education which lobbies for school aid said those amounts are still “inadequate” after years of flat spending, cuts and layoffs, and a landmark court settlement against the state over funding that remains unfulfilled.

Billy Easton of the Alliance for Quality Education said the Senate and Assembly proposals are in adequate and unconscionable in the face of such need in public schools.

“It will slow the bleeding in our public schools but not stop it, much less restore programs that have been cut,” Easton said.

Negotiations will soon begin to craft a state budget, which is due April 1.

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