Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to target more education aid to specific schools within districts where funding inequities exist, he told reporters on a conference call on Friday.

“Why isn’t that district giving more money to the poorer schools?” Cuomo said in the call, held to discuss the overhaul of the L train line in New York City. “I advocate that they should, because the poorer schools have more need.”

Cuomo at the same time, however, dismissed the continued calls from education advocates to increase education aid by $4 billion in the state budget, a target number they say fulfills the terms of a lawsuit over aid, which the governor contends is a settled issue.

“Really what they’re saying is they want $4 billion for education. This state already spends more money on education than any other state,” he said. “I believe advocates sometimes just pick a high number to provoke the conversation, which is fine.”

The coming battle over education spending this year will likely reach an even higher pitch considering the Democratic takeover of the state Senate and the victory of freshman Sen. Robert Jackson, one of the original plaintiffs of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit.

Cuomo had previously sought a district-by-district breakdown of school spending, which he said shows a disparity at the local level.

“What the list shows is that the districts are not distributing more money to the poor schools than the rich schools,” he said.

On Thursday in an interview on WCNY, Cuomo Democrats should be cautious on education aid so as to not hurt suburban school districts, many of which are now represent by newly elected Democrats.

The comments were criticized by the Alliance for Quality Education.

“Instead of being divisive, we hope Governor Cuomo will work with the legislature to get New York State back on track to meeting its obligation to provide all students with a sound basic education,” said Marina Marcou-O’Malley, the policy and operations director for the group. “We look forward to working with all members of the New York State legislature, returning or newly elected, to make fully funding schools a reality.”