Cuomo Turns Focus To Charter Schools
Gov. Andrew Cuomo brushed aside the myriad education issues surrounding the state budget to zero in on protecting charter schools in any final spending plan agreement.
Cuomo, on the Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter on Thursday, said he wants to find a way to ensure charter schools remain the state.
The comments come as Mayor Bill de Blasio rescinded the planned co-location of charter schools that had been approved by the Bloomberg administration.
Cuomo appeared at a previously planned rally earlier this month for charter schools in Albany, the same day de Blasio further uptown rallied in favor of his pre-K proposal for the city.
“The discussion on the charter schools is going to be powerful and is probably going to be one of the more controversial and complex matters that we wind up dealing with the budget,” Cuomo said. “We’ve been dealing about pre-k for a long time, but I think that’s pretty well established. What we’re going to do is what we said we were gong to do: we’ll have a statewide pre-K program that will be funded by the state.”
He added, “The charter discussion is going to be new and it’s going to be important.”
No details were given as to what Cuomo plans to push in the budget negotiations.
The budget talks are already centering on an unusual number of thorny education issues, ranging from the funding for pre-K and kindergarten programs, as well as changes to Common Core standards.
He added the discussions on the Dream Act — which would provide tuition assistance to the children of undocumented immigrants — and the public financing of political campaigns isn’t a matter of money, but votes in the Senate.
Public financing for political campaigns in particular has come under renewed focus as talk centers on the possibility of use legal settlement funds.
“Again, it’s not about the money,” Cuomo said. “There’s a lot of ways to find the money.”
The state Conservative Party in a memo released as Cuomo was interview on the radio program stated that it opposed the idea.
“Legal settlements is an acknowledgement by parties to a civil court case that it is in their best interest to agree to settle the matter rather than face the inherent risk of proceeding to trial,” the memo read. “Monies received from legal settlements should be returned to those who sought legal relief from possible wrongdoings, not set aside for campaign financing. Public campaign financing, with either tax dollars or legal settlement dollars, is a bad idea that would allow fringe and/or straw candidates to qualify for matching funds.”