Andrew Cuomo on Education

Democratic Governor


$27B state funding for poor schools via new Equity Formula

This budget raises the total education budget to $27 billion but it introduces a new formula called the Education Equity Formula which would distribute the money not just to the poorer districts, but to the poorer schools in the poorer districts. Our Excelsior Scholarship Free Tuition Program, we're raising that threshold to $125,000 family threshold to the middle class families. Today, 55 percent of all SUNY and CUNY students are going to tuition free.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the New York legislature , Jan 15, 2019

Parent participation essential for schools to function

Last year we implemented reforms in our education system because parents were losing faith; roughly 20% of our students opted out of exams and in some districts it was high as 90%. Simply put, the education system fails without parental trust. Our goal was to restore that trust and so we reduced testing, increased parental participation and empowered local districts and we said we would correct the State Education Department's Common Core curriculum implementation mistakes and testing regimen.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to New York legislature , Jan 13, 2016

Turn failing schools into charter schools

Let's transform every failing school in the state of New York into a community school. Our charter schools are public schools and serve some of our neediest students--more than 100,000 of them all across the state. Charters are an important option for parents in communities with failing schools and provide education laboratories. On average, charters are half the cost of public schools. They are an important component of our system and we continue to encourage their development in this budget.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to New York legislature , Jan 13, 2016

$200 tax break for teachers

We are working to attract and keep the best public school teachers, many of whom work very hard under very difficult circumstances. Many teachers even go into their own pocket to pay for food and supplies for the students in their classroom. What a beautiful sign of dedication. But they shouldn't have to bear that cost. They deserve our encouragement, support and gratitude. I propose a $200 tax credit to reimburse teachers for their expenses.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to New York legislature , Jan 13, 2016

Invest in the teaching profession, plus teacher evaluations

Source: State of the State address to 2015 New York Legislature , Jan 21, 2015

Ambitious P-12 agenda to stop NY from falling behind

We will pursue an ambitious P-12 agenda:As of this year, school aid is at its highest level ever and over 65 percent of recent increases were directed to high-need school districts. But New York students are still falling behind:It is time for dramatic change and an ambitious P-12 reform agenda.
Source: State of the State address to 2015 New York Legislature , Jan 21, 2015

MA model for NY: receivership when schools fail for 3 years

"Priority schools" are defined as schools that
  1. are in the bottom 5% of schools statewide, based on combined ELA & math scores, and are not showing progress in test performance or
  2. have graduation rates that are below 60% for the last 3 years.
77 of these schools have been failing for nearly a decade. At least 250,000 students were enrolled in these 77 schools since they've been failing. To ensure that the most chronically underperforming schools in the state improve at a faster rate, the Governor proposes legislation modeled after the Massachusetts education receivership model. When a school fails for three years, a nonprofit, another school district, or a turnaround expert must take over the school. That entity will have the authority to:
Source: State of the State address to 2015 New York Legislature , Jan 21, 2015

Expand charter schools: more lotteries; 100 more slots

Source: State of the State address to 2015 New York Legislature , Jan 21, 2015

Full SUNY or CUNY tuition for schoolteachers

Source: State of the State address to 2015 New York Legislature , Jan 21, 2015

Replace 1950s bureaucracy with 2020 performance organization

The best long term economic development strategy is to have the best education system in the world, period, and that is our focus. We are in the midst of an education reinvention. Replacing a 1950's bureaucracy with a 2020 performance organization, we formed the new New York education reform Commission; they have called for a full day Pre-K, extending school days and for performance pay. The next step now in our journey is to reinvent our classrooms with new technology. We must transform our classrooms from the classrooms of yesterday to the classrooms of tomorrow.

Let's invest in the future; let's reimagine our classrooms for the next generation; let's have the smartest classrooms in the nation because our children deserve nothing less than the best. Let's go to the people of this state, with a bond referendum with a smart schools initiative lets invest $2 billion in providing the technology of tomorrow today to bring our classrooms up to speed.

Source: 2014 New York State of the State speech , Jan 8, 2014

Tie 4% funding increase to teacher evaluation system

We started last year a teacher evaluation system, after years and years and years of dallying and opposition and lack of progress, we said last year we agreed on an evaluation system and then we said to the school districts across the state, we want you to adopt it, we want you to adopt it by the end of the year, and if you don't, you're not going to get the increase of 4% that we promised in the budget. Well my friends, the 4% agreement worked; 99% of the school districts have submitted a teacher evaluation test already ahead of the deadline, congratulations. We want to keep it going; more than 90% of the plans that have come in last only for one year. We want to keep in the model that in order to get the additional aid, you have to continue the evaluation process.
Source: 2013 State of the State Speech to NY Legislature , Jan 9, 2013

Additional SUNY Challenge Grants

Our SUNY system has been the great equalizer for the middle class. It has allowed countless New Yorkers from working families to gain a quality college education. Last year, we enacted NYSUNY2020, offering challenge grants to SUNY research centers for plans to connect academic excellence and economic development. This year, we will offer SUNY's 60 other campuses the ability to compete for three $20 million challenge grants, with $10 million coming from the Executive and $10 million from SUNY.
Source: 2012 New York State of the State Address , Jan 4, 2012

Replace formula-based grants with performance incentives

Current education funding is largely formula-based grants with no performance incentives. The federal government's performance-based Race to the Top program has resulted in reform.

Therefore, I am proposing two competitive funds. First, a $250 million school performance fund for districts that proportionally increase performance in the classroom. The second will be a $250 million administrative efficiency fund for districts that can find demonstrative savings through efficiencies.

Source: 2011 State of the State speech to New York legislature , Jan 5, 2011

Follows federal lead in education by emphasizing performance

The federal government's move to performance-based grants, including the Race to the Top program, has resulted in reform. I propose two competitive funds to incentivize improvements. First, I propose a school performance fund for districts that proportionally increase performance in the classroom. The second will be an administrative efficiency fund for districts that can find savings through efficiencies. These grants will complement the objectives of the Race to the Top program.
Source: N. Y. 2011 gubernatorial press release "Assets SOS2011" , Jan 5, 2011

Double the charter school cap

New York must be the leader when it comes to education reform. This starts with the increasing the charter school cap from 200 to 460. But increasing the cap won't result in more charter schools if we too tightly restrict where they can be located or how they can be approved. We believe that public review and consultation are important--especially when charter schools will be co-located with traditional public schools--but this cannot become a poison pill that prevents opening new charter schools. As Governor, Andrew Cuomo will also oppose arbitrarily limiting the number of charter schools that can operate in a school district. And because SUNY has done a good job in approving and monitoring charter schools, we should continue to allow SUNY to have shared authority for approving charter schools with the Board of Regents. As a strong supporter of charter schools, Andrew Cuomo understands how important it is to retain high standards and strong accountability.
Source: 2010 gubernatorial campaign website, andrewcuomo.com , Nov 1, 2010

Vouchers undermine existing public schools

Republicans stress lack of accountability while Democrats claim inadequate resources. Democrats must stick to their principles of supporting our public schools, but they also must not be afraid to embrace new solutions and increased accountability to improve them.

Vouchers for private school are not the panacea that the Republicans would have people believe, and they threaten to undermine our existing public schools. Charter schools hold selective promise, but are only a part of the answer. We must embrace comprehensive reform of our public school system that does not continually seek, as the Republicans often do, simply to remove children from, or undermine, those systems.

We must be willing to close persistently failing schools that have not responded to help, in favor of new schools with new staff and new approaches. Democrats are the party of public education and therefore we must be the party that demands the most from public education.

Source: Crossroads, by Andrew Cuomo, p. 72 , Oct 14, 2003

Universal 3-K: pre-school for all 3-year-olds

In addition to efforts to provide pre-kindergarten more universally, pilot programs in some states have shown that learning can and should begin at age 3. Several states have also launched comprehensive reforms to their child care delivery systems to provide subsidized early education as part of the state-funded day care programs. Universal pre-K for 4 year olds should be realized as soon as possible across the country; but our ambitions for our children should extend beyond that to providing "Universal 3-K" for all of our 3 year olds as well. Early education is good for our children, but it's also good for our nation.
Source: Crossroads, by Andrew Cuomo, p. 73 , Oct 14, 2003

Mayor should be accountable for NYC schools

Cuomo called for abolishing the city Board of Education yesterday, saying it was a priority to turn over control of the schools to the mayor. “The public school system is failing our children. The first step to fixing it is to create a sense of accountability, a sense that the buck would stop with the mayor.” Cuomo echoed Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki in their plan to turn the board into a city agency with a commissioner. Cuomo also called for an advisory panel of parents, teachers & experts.
Source: Jonathan Lemire, Daily News , Mar 15, 2002

Other governors on Education: Andrew Cuomo on other issues:
NY Gubernatorial:
Bill de Blasio
Cynthia Nixon
George Pataki
Howie Hawkins
John DeFrancisco
Kathy Hochul
Larry Sharpe
Marc Molinaro
Mike Bloomberg
Rob Astorino
Zephyr Teachout
NY Senatorial:
Alex Merced
Charles Schumer
Chele Farley
Dave Webber
Kirsten Gillibrand
Marc Molinaro
Scott Noren
Wendy Long

Gubernatorial Debates 2019:

Gubernatorial Debates 2018:
AK: Walker(i) vs.Dunleavy(D) vs.Chenault(R) vs.Huggins(R) vs.Begich(D) vs.Treadwell(D)
AL: Ivey(R) vs.Countryman(D) vs.Battle (R) vs.Maddox (R) vs.George(R) vs.Carrington(R)
AR: Hutchinson(R) vs.Henderson(D) vs.West(L)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs. Garcia (D) vs.Farley(D)
CA: Newsom(D) vs.Chiang(D) vs.Villaraigosa(D) vs.Eastin (D) vs.Hadley (R) vs.Cox (R) vs.Istvan (I) vs.Allen(R) vs.La Riva(P)
CO: Johnston(D) vs.Mitchell(R) vs.Kennedy (D) vs.Robinson (R) vs.Barlock(R) vs.Lynne(R) vs.Polis(D) vs.Coffman(R) vs.Brauchler(R,A.G.) vs.Stapleton(R)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Lamont(D) vs.Stefanowski(R) vs.Srinivasan(R) vs.David Walker (R) vs.Lumaj(R) vs.Visconti(R) vs.Lauretti(R) vs.Drew(D)
FL: Gillum(D) vs.Graham(D) vs.Putnam(R) vs.Levine(D) vs.DeSantis(R)
GA: Kemp(R) vs.Cagle(R) vs.Hill(R) vs.Abrams(D) vs.Levine(D)
HI: Ige(D) vs.Hanabusa(D) vs.Tupola(R) vs.Carroll(R) vs.McDermott(R)
IA: Reynolds(R) vs.Leopold(D) vs.Boulton(D) vs.McGuire(D) vs.Glasson(D) vs.Hubbell(D) vs.Porter(L) vs.Battaglia(L)
ID: Little(R) vs.Fulcher(R) vs.Labrador(R) vs.Ahlquist(R) vs.Minton(D) vs.Jordan(D)
IL: Rauner(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Pawar(D) vs.Daniel Biss (D) vs.Pritzker(D) vs.Ives(R)
KS: Brewer(D) vs.Hartman (R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2018:(continued) vs.Colyer(R) vs.Kobach(R) vs.Orman(I) vs.Kelly(D)
MA: Baker(R) &Polito(R,Lt.Gov.) vs.Warren (D) vs.Massie (R)
MD: Hogan(R) vs.Ross (D) vs.Cummings(D) vs.Madaleno(D) vs.Jealous(D) vs.Quinn(L) vs.Schlakman(G)
ME: Mayhew(R) vs.Mills(D) vs.Boyle(D) vs.Thibodeau(R) vs.Moody(D) vs.Capron(I) vs.Caron(I)
MI: Whitmer(R) vs.El-Sayed(D) vs.Walz (D) vs.Schuette(R) vs.Calley(R) vs.Tatar(L)
MN: vs.Smith(D) vs.Coleman(D) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Otto(D) vs.Liebling (DFL) vs.Walz (DFL) vs.Dean (R) vs.Pawlenty(R) vs.Johnson(R) vs.Swanson(D)
MO: Greitens(R) vs.Parson(R)
NE: Ricketts(R) vs.Krist(D)
NH: Sununu(R) vs.Jarvis(L) vs.Marchand (D) vs.Kelly (D)
NM: Lujan-Grisham(D) vs.Pearce(R) vs.Cervantes(D) vs.Apodaca(D) vs.Jarvis(L)
NV: Fisher (R) vs.Sisolak(D) vs.Laxalt(R) vs.Schwartz(R)
NY: Cuomo(D) vs.Nixon(D) vs.Hawkins(G) vs.Molinaro(R)
OH: DeWine(R) vs.Husted(R,Lt.Gov.) vs.Kucinich(D) vs.Sutton(D,Lt.Gov) vs.Taylor(R) vs.Renacci (R) vs.Pillich (D) vs.Schiavoni(D) vs.Whaley(D) vs.Cordray(D)
OK: Stitt(R) vs.Cornett(R) vs.Edmondson(D) vs.Richardson(R) vs.Johnson(D) vs.Powell(L) vs.Maldonado(L)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Inman(D) vs.Buehler(R)
PA: Wolf(D) vs.Fetterman(D,Lt.Gov.) vs.Wagner(R) vs.Barletta(R) vs.Krawchuk(L)
RI: Raimondo(D) vs.Brown(D) vs.Fung(R) vs.Morgan(R)
SC: McMaster(R) vs.McGill(R) vs.Pope(R) vs.Templeton(R) vs.Smith(D) vs.Warren(D) vs.Bryant(R)
SD: Noem(R) vs.Jackley(R) vs.Sutton(D)
TN: Green(R) vs.Dean(D) vs.Black(R) vs.Lee(R)
TX: Abbott(R) vs.Glass(L) vs.White(D) vs.Valdez(D)
VT: Scott(R) vs.Moody(R) vs.Hallquist(D) vs.Stern(D)
WI: Walker(R) vs.Harlow(D) vs.Vinehout(D) vs.Evers(D) vs.Roys(D) vs.Anderson(L)
WY: Throne(D) vs.Dahlin(R) vs.Gordon(R) vs.Rammell(R)
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Page last updated: Mar 09, 2019