Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at an educational rally in Albany on Tuesday.
Credit Karen Dewitt / WRVO
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at dueling rallies on education at the state Capitol, highlighting the two politicians’ differences over education issues.
A rally to promote de Blasio’s plan for universal pre-K had been planned for weeks. The mayor spoke to around 1,500 union members, urging them to put pressure on lawmakers to approve in the state budget the mayor’s plan to provide classes for thousands of four-year-olds starting in September.
John DeFrancisco says he doesn't believe the pre-K debate will hurt the chances of another on time budget. (file photo)
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / WRVO
The debate over pre-K funding in New York has pit Gov. Andrew Cuomo against New York City area politicians. But one influential Syracuse-area state politician is hoping it doesn’t get in the way of successful budget negotiations, which ramp up this month.
New York state has had an on time budget each year since Cuomo took office four years ago. Sen. John DeFrancisco hopes the pre-K debate doesn’t break that streak.
The state budget deadline is approaching and education issues are taking center stage. Only one day before massive rallies for universal pre-K and charter schools, other advocates say they’ve gathered evidence for potentially another lawsuit for more state aid for schools.
The Alliance for Quality Education has been touring schools around the state to document what they say is the erosion of districts in economically depressed areas.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to have gained the upper hand and some new allies in his policy skirmish with New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio over how to fund pre-kindergarten, as the fight threatens to turn into an upstate downstate split.
DeBlasio has been seeking permission from Cuomo and the legislature to raise income taxes on the wealthy in New York City in order to pay for access to pre-kindergarten for almost 75,000 four-year-olds there, arguing that it would help ease income inequality.
The debate regarding universal pre-kindergarten shows no signs of slowing down at the New York Capitol. The Democratic Mayor of New York City is not backing down from his plan to tax the wealthy to pay for pre-K, while upstate and suburban Republicans in the state Senate say they will block a vote on the tax proposal.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in his State of the City address, stuck to his plan to continue to ask state lawmakers for permission to tax the wealthy to fund universal pre-K. De Blasio says he’s not advocating for a statewide income tax hike.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio talk during a panel discussion.
Credit Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo / Flickr
Mayors from around the state -- including Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner -- testified before the state legislative fiscal committees. In what’s traditionally known as Tin Cup Day, many asked for more money, while others asked for authorization to collect more money from their citizens.
First up was New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who came armed with a new report that he says shows how he could enact universal access to pre-kindergarten at a “rapid pace,” in an expansion that he calls one of the largest in the nation’s history.