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The Empire

State GOP Relents on Some Education Cuts

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The Republican majority state Senate presented their one-house budget resolution which will be considered on Tuesday in Albany. They propose restoring $280 million in school aid.

School districts north of New York City would receive 68 percent of the proposed restorations. Capital Confidential reports, Sen. John Flanagan (R - Long Island), also the Senate Education Chair, says this distribution will provide more equitable financing through the state of New York.

The GOP Senate's budget resolution also includes less severe legislation that restructures the last-in, first-out system that administers teacher lay-offs, a change Mayor Bloomberg is seeking. Sen. Flanagan said the revised bill removes some of the more controversial criteria for eliminating teachers, like student test scores, but it still maintains the general concept that seniority should not be the only consideration.

The Assembly also presented their one-house budget resolution on Tuesday, which considers $684 million more tax revenue than Gov. Cuomo’s budget proposal. Bloombergreports they would use 30 percent of this additional revenue for school aid. The teachers union opposes the revised bill, saying it only contains "minor tweaks."

The legislative budgets are traditionally seen as responses to their policy priorities, a nod to special interests groups, and part of their negotiation strategy. Both houses are expected to vote and pass their own versions of the state budget on Tuesday. A final budget is due on April 1.

- Beth Fertig and Sarah P. Reynolds