Press-Republican

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March 17, 2014

Common Core, state aid complicate budgets

(Continued)

School officials say state-aid cuts hamper their efforts to adequately implement performance review and blend Common Core reform, let alone coordinating pre-K programs.

Schools are looking, instead, to cut athletic and music programs next year just to make ends meet.

TAX FREEZE

In his budget, Cuomo  also looks to enact a 2-year property-tax freeze, a move some say would completely hamstring school budgets.

The Alliance for Quality Education, a coalition of parents and educators, launched a protest in Albany, delivering petitions to the governor’s office.

“The tax freeze would compound the jeopardy the (2 percent) tax cap already creates for schools,” the alliance said in a statement.

“The (governor’s) new proposal would promise voter rebates, delivering the equivalent of a property-tax freeze, but only if they oppose any school budget seeking a tax increase above the cap.”

ALTERNATIVE VERSIONS

Cuomo’s executive budget is being metered now by spending plans from both the Senate and the Assembly.

The Assembly version looks to add back $402 million in state funding for schools and rejects Cuomo’s move to freeze property taxes, opting instead for “circuit breaker” property-tax relief measures based on need. 

The Senate is expected to propose an end to Gap Elimination Adjustment cuts over a two-year period.

Lawmakers have limited time to reconcile three spending plans to produce a state budget by March 31.

Email Kim Smith Dedam:kdedam@pressrepublican.com

 

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