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Assembly pushes for $1.5 billion boost to education spending

UFT President Michael Mulgrew interviews New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew interviews New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
Photo by Jonathan Fickies for UFT

In a tight budget year, New York State’s Democratic-led Assembly wants to increase education spending by $1.5 billion, officials announced late Monday night.

The proposed increase — which would bring total education spending to $27.1 billion — is significantly more than the governor’s suggested $769 million increase. Still, the amount is a slightly smaller boost than the Assembly backed last year, which is likely a reflection of a difficult fiscal situation faced by the state this year.

State officials are fighting against a budget deficit, a federal tax plan that could harm New York, and the threat of further federal cuts. The potential lack of funding could be the only sticking point in an otherwise quiet budget year for education matters.

As part of its education agenda, the Assembly backed a number of programs it has in the past. The plan supports the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which is designed to help boys and young men of color reach their potential, and “community schools,” which act as service hubs that provide healthcare and afterschool programs.

The release of this plan kicks off the final stretch of the state’s budget process. The governor has already outlined his proposals and the Senate will likely follow soon, setting up the state’s annual last-minute haggling.

The budget is due by April 1, but could always be resolved later — similar to last year.

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