Education is Focus of 1st N.Y. Budget Hearing

Courtney Williams's picture
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The $805 million boost in school aid this year isn't enough to allow some districts to pay their bills, state Education Commissioner John King said at a state budget hearing Monday.

King said he's concerned about a number of school districts facing insolvency due to increasing costs, particularly employee costs such as health care. He said the new tax cap could make it nearly impossible for some districts to meet their obligations in the next few years.

King told legislators that some districts are cutting academics such as advanced placement courses to make ends meet. He repeated his push for district consolidation to save money.

The hearing was the first of 13 hearings on the $132.5 billion budget proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week. Cuomo's overall budget proposal would increase state spending by 2 percent — much of it involving 4-percent spending hikes for school aid and Medicaid agreed to last year with legislative leaders.

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