From the Morning Memo:

The 2017-18 budget proposal from Gov. Andrew Cuomo increases education aid by $1 billion — a raise in spending that over the last seven years as seen an “historic” increase, according to lawmakers who had been briefed by the governor on the spending plan.

Cuomo himself in a public briefing stressed the state’s investment under his administration dwarfed the money spent by previous governors.

“The first year we had a real deficit so we actually cut education spending the first year,” Cuomo said, referring to the $10 billion budget gap when he took office.

“If you take out the first year, our average has been a 4 percent increase. So you can see that my budgets have always been exceedingly generous with education spending.”

The Alliance for Quality Education, however, was eager for more than twice the amount Cuomo proposed in the budget.

“This budget proposal will perpetuate systemic racism and economic injustice in school funding,” said Jasmine Gripper, the group’s legislative director. “By his own accounting, the funding increase is for ‘inflation,’ which means he is doing nothing about the $10,000 spending difference between rich and poor students.”

The group had sought more than $2 billion in education spending this year in order to satisfy the Campaign for Fiscal Equity ruling as Assembly Democrats have called for this year.

And to be sure, AQE in December had said the Board of Regents’ call for a $2.1 billion hike in education fell short too, saying that figure should be the cost of foundation aid alone.

Education spending overall is a perennially key battle in the state budget talks with lawmakers, who are typically able to increase the overall amount of school aid in the final product. And the total amount spent is not as important as where the money is spent throughout the state, setting the stage for battles over spending for suburban school districts, especially on Long Island, and in rural and upstate urban communities that have struggled to expand their tax bases over the years.