In past years, the debate has focused on how much the state should spend on public schools. But this year, there’s an additional focus on a proposal from the Governor’s office that would require school districts to provide specific, building-by-building details over how state aid is being spent.
According to the Albany Times-Union, the battle is pitting Gov. Andrew Cuomo against much of the state’s vast education lobby and it presents the possibility of a high-stakes showdown.
Cuomo’s budget director is reemphasizing a proposal the governor floated with his budget presentation in January: under this plan schools that get more than half their funding from the state would have to detail where the money goes on a building-by-building basis. The governor says that should ensure that the biggest increases go to the schools serving the poorest and neediest students, who generally need more academic help. The proposal would also reportedly allow the governor’s budget office to hold back state money if they disapproved of the school district’s “spending statement.”
Public school representatives oppose the idea, who say spending decisions should be made at the local level and not by bureaucrats in Albany.