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State Budget Delays Common Core Implementation, Hikes School Aid

Common Core-aligned state exams won't count toward students' transcripts, but will county for the new teacher evaluations.
Common Core-aligned state exams won't count toward students' transcripts, but will county for the new teacher evaluations. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – The adopted state budget delays aspects of the Common Core Learning Standards implementation and provides a $2.87 million increase in school aid for Westchester schools in the 93rd Assembly District.

The state exams that began Tuesday and go through Thursday won’t count toward students’ transcripts or be the only factor in future placements. They will still count toward teacher evaluations, which state Sen. George Latimer said is illogical.

The budge also creates a Parents’ Bill of Rights and limits the sharing of student data through the controversial online student data dashboard.

The $140 billion budget provides $21.8 billion in aid for schools statewide, which is $550 million, or 5.4 percent more than in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget. Assemblyman David Buchwald welcomed the 12.59 percent increase of $2.87 million in aid to schools in his assembly district. They include:

  • Bedford Central: $5,906,442, an increase of $485,409, or 9.91 percent;
  • Byram Hills CSD: $3,697,392, an increase of $280,577, or 10.51 percent;
  • Chappaqua CSD: $8,103,106, an increase of $861,959, or 15.88 percent;
  • Harrison CSD: $3,507,948, an increase of $100,690, or 2.99 percent;
  • Katonah Lewisboro CSD: $7,389,216, an increase of $523,364, or 9.32 percent;
  • North Salem CSD: $2,279,829, an increase of $175,913, or 9.56 percent;
  • White Plains CSD: $20,630,676, an increase of $2,176,664, or 14.14 percent

Bedford Central's aid includes $70,000 to restore Fox Lane High School’s substance abuse counselor, which was cut in the district's proposed budget.

Mount Kisco Partners in Prevention, a drug and alcohol prevention group, had planned to raise money to share the cost of the position, according to its Coordinator Nan Miller.

“The role of the student assistance counselor is crucial to our Coalition’s effort to reduce alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug abuse among our school aged youth," she said.

The state budget also restores $602 million to schools districts that had previous years state aid taken away through what is called Gap Elimination Adjustments. The GEA allows the state to reallocate state fund allocated for school aid to other parts of the budget to reduce the deficit.

It reduced education funding to Westchester schools by $137.4 million in the 2013-2014 state budget, according to the Westchester-Putnam School Boards Association.

“This funding is welcomed, but it’s simply not enough,” Buchwald said. “I will continue fighting for the complete elimination of the GEA.

Some school districts have adopted a resolution that demands the state eliminate the GEA. Buchwald has sponsored legislation that would eliminate it.

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