Happy Pi Day! A lot to catch you up on from this week, including the Senate’s one house budget resolution coming in late last night. We’ll begin there.
The Senate’s resolution gives an additional $217 million over the Governor’s proposal to public schools, but it also gives $250 million more to charter and private schools.
Among the proposals outlined in the Senate’s resolution was a new property tax relief program, dubbed “Freeze Plus.” Here’s the language:
PART FF: The Senate modifies the Executive proposal to create a $1.4 billion Freeze Plus program that freezes property taxes for two years by making the property tax relief permanent. Schools will be eligible for this program in SFY 2014-15 while counties, cities, towns and villages will be eligible in SFY 2015-16. This makes all municipalities and schools eligible in their next fiscal year. Schools will receive $400 million in the first year, growing to $800 million thereafter. Municipalities will receive $200 million in their first year, and $400 million thereafter. In order for homeowners in their jurisdiction to receive the property tax relief in year two of the plan, school districts and local governments must continue to stay within the tax cap and must work towards continuing efficiencies previously adopted with new efficiency plans that may include consolidation and shared services. Municipalities and school districts will develop and implement structural budgetary efficiency plans for sharing or consolidating services that, when implemented, will achieve real savings for taxpayers. Local Governments with 50 employees or less will also be authorized to join municipal cooperative health benefit plans as a tool to achieve savings.
The Senate’s resolution calls for $2.7 billion in funding over five years for a universal pre-k and after-school programs in New York City ($540 million for 2014-15). According to Capital New York, the Senate’s plan also includes $145 million for pre-K expansion in the rest of the state during the next fiscal year, but the funding would be flexible, so schools could choose to use it for kindergarten or restore general state-aid cuts instead.
Here’s an overview of the entire resolution (Capitol Confidential)…And here’s the actual thing.
Moving on…Here’s the rest of your education headlines from the week.
Educators learn Common Core on the fly (Journal News)…Prekindergarten programs, teachers work to keep up with Common Core standards (Glens Falls Post Star)…Parents want to opt out of common core tests, Commissioner says ‘no’ (WTEN)
Cuomo’s Common Core panel: Back off from inBloom (Capitol Confidential)…Read the rest of the panel’s roundup here.
North Country schools are pushing for an end to school-aid cuts this year. (Plattsburgh Press Republican)
Josephine Finn was elected to the Board of Regents, replacing James Jackson, who resigned Monday night. (Syracuse Post Standard)
Unhappy with state school funding, AQE marches on Albany (Capitol Confidential)
South Glens Falls High School held their annual dance marathon and raised a record-setting $583,000 for 39 beneficiaries (Glens Falls Post Star)