Gov. Andrew Cuomo insisted in a radio interview Thursday he backs more funding for poorer school districts in New York as he also seeks to turn aside a push from education advocates to add $4 billion in direct education aid this year.

The comments on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom come in anticipation ahead of what could be a prolonged and difficult battle over school aid in the budget this year and the perennial push from education advocates to settle what they say are the terms of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit.

Cuomo in the interview Thursday insisted it was a settled matter.

“That is not an opinion. That is a fact. The CFE lawsuit was settled,” Cuomo said, while adding education advocates who have antagonized him over the issue are “wrong.”

“There are people who say the world is flat, OK?” he said.

But at the same time, Cuomo indicated he’s willing to provide additional funding to low-income and needy districts. It’s a potential olive branch extended as one of the original plaintiffs in the CFE case, Robert Jackson, will be a freshman Democratic state senator this year.

“We don’t give poor schools enough funding. That is true,” Cuomo said. “My point is the poorer schools need more funding because they have a greater challenge. Let’s give the poorer schools more.”

Still, there may not be a lot of money to stretch in school aid. Cuomo once again has signaled he wants to keep overall spending in the budget capped at a 2 percent ceiling.

Typically the lawmakers in both chambers proposed more spending on education than the governor calls for in a budget and the numbers meet somewhere in between.

Cuomo has in recent budget years proposed school aid increases, but short of the $4 billion hike advocates have sought.

Adding an additional layer to the intrigue over school funding this year was a warning from Cuomo of the political consequences of tinkering with education aid, the most costly item in the budget aside from health care.

Cuomo warned the school districts represented by suburban lawmakers could be negatively impacted as a result.

“That’s not going to sit well with the senators who just elected representing Long Island,” he said. “They’re thinking, ‘I like being senator and want to get re-elected.'”