Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget

Last Week Governor Cuomo delivered his Executive Budget. Education highlights and excerpts are below.

– Consistent with the two-year appropriation enacted in 2011-12, the 2012-13 Executive Budget recommends $20.3 billion in School Aid for the 2012-13 school year, a year-to-year increase of $805 million, or 4 percent.- School districts will not be eligible for aid increases unless they have fully implemented the new teacher evaluation process by January 17, 2013.

– High need school districts will receive 76 percent of the 2012-13 allocated increase and 69 percent of total School Aid. $250 million will be used for performance grants.

– The Executive Budget recommends improving the cost-effectiveness of the State’s school transportation program by centralizing the purchase of school buses through the use of a single State contract that is developed with advice from school districts.

– Preschool special education: Apportion all growth above each county’s share of 2011-12 school year costs equally to school districts, the State, and the county.

– $7.0 million for state assessments and $0.7 million for GED testing (SED requested $10 million). During conversations today with Deputy Commissioner Slentz, SAANYS has learned that the allocation less than requested will result in the elimination of the new ELA Regents exams for grades 9 & 10. However, funding would be sufficient to implement January 2013 Regents exams and to support the administration of GED tests.

– The Executive Budget recommends several reforms to the teacher disciplinary process. These proposals include allowing the State Education Department to set reasonable limits on the costs of teacher disciplinary hearings, disqualify hearing officers who fail to comply with statutory deadlines, and change the payment structure to encourage speedier outcomes. The new payment structure would have the costs of teacher hearings shared by school districts and the employees’ bargaining unit, or the employee if not represented by a bargaining unit, so that both have a stake in the timeliness of the process.

– Provides $31.6 million in funding for arts grants administered by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

Thank you to SANNYS for some of the exerpts