Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Governor's Budget

C+ for Education, at best. He's offering $ over two years that most in the biz think we need in one. Hooray for the focus on Pre-K and afterschool, boo hiss for the $2 billion bond for SmartBoards and iPads. Again, it's the "gift that keeps on taking," as anything bought in 2014 will need to be replaced by 2019. Why not raise a bond for infrastructure alone, allowing those districts that need better broadband to invest the funds for that while others update or expand? Why muddy the waters by slapping Pre-K and afterschool classroom expansions into the technology bond? Creating yet another panel of experts to determine what legislative moves to make re Common Core implementation in NYS is ridiculous; as far as I can tell, Cuomo's panels of experts (education, mandate relief) exist only to pad their own resumes and chow down on fancy lunches on the taxpayers' dime. The applause following his excited utterances about not testing K-2 kids was unwarranted; NYS does not test K-2 kids (or at least leaves such testing to the discretion of districts).

And the property tax relief plan will not work for our county, where school districts and towns have stayed under the cap but the county has not. Only if the entire aggregate stays under the cap will taxpayers have their increases paid for by the state. Not exactly a winning solution. C+. Lots of room for improvement.

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