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Battle expected in Albany on education issues

Posted by Karen DeWitt on

One day before Governor Cuomo is expected to outline an overhaul of the state’s school system, education groups launched a preemptive spin on what might be proposed.

Governor Cuomo, at a business breakfast, called teachers, school boards, and other advocates the most “sophisticated political machine” in state government, that is most concerned with getting more money. 

“And you know what it’s gotten us?” Cuomo asked. “A larger and larger bureaucracy, and higher salaries for the people who work in the education industry.”

The teachers union has spent over four million dollars on political campaigns and is running ads, in the days leading up to the State of the State urging Cuomo not to “settle political scores.”

The Alliance for Quality Education’s Billy Easton says wealthy supporters of expanding charter schools have spent nearly twice that amount, and have contributed large sums to the governor’s campaign.

“You may hear tomorrow, that it’s not about the money,” Easton said. “But you never hear that when hedge fund managers want to make political donations.”

Easton and others, who are asking the governor to fulfill a court order to spend billions more dollars on schools, say they expect a “big fight” this year. 

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