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    AQE Reaction To Gov. Cuomo’s ‘Victory Lap’ Event On Education At Queens School: Once Again Reality Falls Far Short Of Cuomo Spin

    Cuomo Fought Against State Assembly’s Efforts to Deliver CFE Funds Owed to Schools Statewide

    This morning Governor Cuomo held a press conference at a school in Queens touting his education budget. The reality is that Governor Cuomo has never championed public education and has consistently attacked public schools and left high need schools severely underfunded. 

    “The way Governor Cuomo tells the story he is the greatest thing for public schools since the invention of the pencil, but sadly, the reality falls far short of the spin,” said Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director, Alliance for Quality Education. “This year the Governor’s effort to repeal over $4 billion owed to our public schools was the latest chapter in how his education policies have perpetuated racial and economic inequities in education. The Governor’s failing policies on public education have produced a spending gap between rich and poor schools that has skyrocketed to nearly $10,000 per student. Let’s not forget the Governor’s executive budget proposed a paltry $428 million in foundation aid — that’s 10 cents on the dollar. Our children and public schools are simply not a priority for him.

    “It’s time for Governor Cuomo to make our children his top priority and develop a plan to fully fund our schools as required by our state constitution. As a result of Cuomo’s education budget, nearly 50,000 kindergarteners to third graders are crammed into classrooms with over 30 students, and Queens’ schools have the largest problem with overcrowded classrooms for young children. Guidance counselors in Yonkers each have to serve 750 students. From Utica to Schenectady and across the state schools cannot afford the number of specialized teachers they need to serve growing populations of English language learners. Cuomo’s education policies are not something to celebrate. Instead of doing self-promoting press conferences, the Governor should be in Albany fighting for our public school students.” 

    This year Governor Cuomo tried to repeal $4.3 billion in funds that New York State owes to our neediest schools due to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE). Ironically the school where he held today’s event, the Academy of Finance and Enterprise in Long Island City, is owed over $900,000 that Cuomo tried to repeal. The State Assembly and the Senate Democrats fought back hard and defeated the Governor’s attempt to repeal the CFE funding, known as Foundation Aid. The large majority of these funds are owed to students in poverty and 58 percent are owed to Black and Brown students. The New York State Board of Regents identified $1.4 billion as the Foundation Aid increase schools needed this year and the Assembly proposed to deliver that funding in their budget plan. But Cuomo fought against it and as a result schools ended up getting just $700 million —only half of what they need in Foundation Aid this year and less than even the Republican Senate Majority had proposed.

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