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News stories tagged with "albany"

BOCES looks for options for school districts

This school budgeting season has been among the toughest in memory.

Schools are swallowing hard to absorb Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 1.2 billion dollar cut in state education aid. Defending his cuts, he commands, "manage the school system. Reduce the waste, reduce the fraud, reduce the abuse.... 'Well, we don't have any.' ...I don't believe it."

Cuomo wants other efficiencies as well. He's looking for mergers and consolidations, and he's pushing small schools especially hard. We've reported that many of the North Country's little rural schools are struggling with state aid cuts that are disproportionate - bigger dollar for dollar than cuts in much larger, wealthier districts downstate.

Districts like Beaver River could end up with a single foreign language in the curriculum, or no advanced placement programs, or no music and art. As Superintendent Lueen Smithling told us, "Rural schools should not be taken advantage of and essentially he's creating a caste system of lower, substandard schools, and is that right?"

Even before this year's deep cuts, educators in St. Lawrence County saw alarming trends for small schools. The St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES office had already commissioned the Rural Schools Association of New York State to study alternatives to save schools and improve education. A draft report is due at the end of May, with public meetings planned.

Dennis Sweeney is leading the research team. They visited each district, analyzed data, and asked follow-up questions. He told Martha Foley this spring's budget climate just highlighted how dire the rural school picture is.  Go to full article
If the people are with you, the politicians will follow.

Cuomo will hit the road for his agenda

Governor Andrew Cuomo is poised to begin a statewide tour to rally New Yorkers to back his agenda, including a property tax cap and gay marriage. Karen Dewitt has this report from Albany.  Go to full article

NY residents face tough choices on school budgets.

Voters in around 700 school districts across the state will go the polls May 17th to consider school budgets, and many will be asked to okay a tax increase, as well as approve program cuts, and in some cases, layoffs. More on that from Karen Dewitt in Albany.  Go to full article
Think of the difference between Amazon.com and the Montgomery Ward catalogue. That’s kind of how we are operating these days.

School boards say Cuomo property tax caps could hurt schools

Governor Andrew Cuomo is preparing to embark on a statewide campaign to promote his 2% across the board property tax cap, but school boards from across New York say the cap will harm schools if there is not corresponding relief from some strict state and union rules. In Albany, more from Karen DeWitt.  Go to full article

Cuomo to take agenda on the road

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's headed back to the campaign trail- this time to rally public support for his end of session agenda, including a property tax cap, ethics reform, and gay marriage. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article
You have to be setting up, in essence, a new enterprise to provide one million New Yorkers with health insurance.

New York State contemplates health care exchanges

The State Senate held a panel discussion with major health care stakeholders, on how New York will implement the federal health care reforms proposed by President Obama and passed by Congress. In Albany, Karen DeWitt filed this report:  Go to full article
This is a real sea change in the way we see human relations, and we absolutely have a religious obligation to respond to it.

Religious leaders make the case for gay marriage in Albany

Advocates for same sex marriage in New York got a boost from over 700 members of the clergy, as Governor Cuomo says he's optimistic that a bill can become law this year. In Albany, Karen DeWitt has more:  Go to full article
This can’t just be 'if you build it they will come'...These have to be hard plans, real plans that meet the criteria.

SUNY schools will compete for expansion and hiring grants, announces Cuomo

Governor Cuomo announced grants for the four State University Centers in New York. The schools will compete for a total of $140 million dollars for what Cuomo says will be "seed money" for plans to expand the centers and create jobs. In Albany, Karen DeWitt filed this report:  Go to full article
For all those who lived through the nightmare of 9/11, horrific images are refreshed.

Cuomo steps up security precautions in wake of Bin Laden's death

Governor Andrew Cuomo says there is heightened security at "critical infrastructure" in New York City and New York State, following the capture and death of Osama bin Laden. In Albany, Karen DeWitt has the details:  Go to full article
We’re talking about a property tax cap, we’re talking about ethics reform and cleaning up Albany...We have a lot of work to do.

NY legislature faces busy agenda for remainder of session

The New York State legislature returns May 2nd, after taking half of the month of April off for spring break. As Karen DeWitt reports, they have a busy agenda in the remaining two months of the session, including a push for a property tax cap, and gay marriage. Karen DeWitt has more from Albany:  Go to full article

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