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Advocates try to preempt Cuomo with State of Schools address

Advocates are trying to preempt Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address with a seven-minute “State of the Schools” speech of their own.

The Alliance for Quality Education, an advocacy group that Cuomo’s office has disparaged in the past, released their address by YouTube video today.

In the speech, AQE communications director Nikki Jones describes the toll taken by three years of budget cuts and pushes for Cuomo to use tax changes to spur revisions to how school districts are funded.

“We will all be looking at it to see if this year’s aid is distributed fairly and prioritizes high- and average-needs districts as proposed by the Board of Regents,” Jones said. “This will be the next measure of success in restoring new york to that progressive beacon that the governor spoke about at this same time last year.”

Cuomo is expected to criticize the performance of New York’s schools and propose a commission to devise reforms when he issues his annual address Wednesday morning. In last year’s State of the State address, his first, Cuomo announced a competitive grant program, similar to the federal Race to the Top program, that would reward districts for cutting costs and improving performance. That program went online in November.

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