Yesterday Governor Andrew Cuomo presented his executive budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Many were worried that there would be a cut to education funding or aid to New York City because of a projected $6.1 billion gap in the state budget. Relax folks, the funding is coming to the schools, although nearly not as much as education advocates feel is necessary.
From City and State:
$178 billion: That’s Cuomo’s proposed total spending in the upcoming budget, a relatively small 1.2% increase over this year’s $176 billion budget, and well within Cuomo’s oft-stated pledge to keep growth below 2%.
$2.5 billion: Cuomo is once again assembling a so-called Medicaid Redesign Team, which he last did in 2011, with a goal in finding that much annual savings from the state’s administration of the federal health care program for low-income New Yorkers. It’s likely to be a difficult goal. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released a Medicaid audit last week finding ways to save only $800 million.
0: Cuomo promised “zero impact on local governments” from the Medicaid redesign – as long as those city and county governments stayed within a 3% cap on growth. It’s yet to be seen whether this will calm local leaders like de Blasio.
$826 million: The planned increase in local education spending, which Cuomo deemed the “largest foundation aid increase of my administration.” When Cuomo faced a $10 billion budget deficit in 2011, he actually cut school aid by $2.7 billion. This year, he promised no cuts, and proposed raising education spending to $28.5 billion – the largest line item in the budget.
3%: Despite the deficit, Cuomo hopes to increase both education and Medicaid spending by that much. “I don’t think any New Yorker would want to choose between health care and education, and I don’t think our government should either,” he said. Instead of enacting cuts, Cuomo said he plans to close the budget gap by reducing the rate of growth.
Once the State Assembly and State Senate add some more by the April 1 budget deadline, it looks as though there will be no great changes or cuts. For education there should a decent amount of money coming to the school districts in fiscal year 2021. Just as in years past, I very much doubt that much, if any, of the increase in funding will find its way to the classroom in many schools in NYC.