Paterson, Silver Disagree Over School Budgets

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School districts across New York State are holding budget votes today, and top state officials are already predicting the outcome.

Governor Paterson, who slashed school spending in his state budget plan, predicts that the majority of school budget will be defeated because he says the public agrees with him, that the current level of spending is unaffordable.

"You'd be very surprised when the public, not the legislature, not the governor, but the public votes down a lot of those plans, saying 'spend less money'," Said Paterson.

Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver, whose Democratic majority wants to restore the school aid cuts, disagrees.

"I would say that most of them will pass," Said Silver.

According to the state's school board association, the average tax increase schools are seeking is around three percent, and that the proposed budget represents the lowest spending increase in five years.