Capitol Recap

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The following offers education-related highlights of the recent legislative sessions. The enrollment figures are based on estimated fall 2001 data reported by the National Center for Education Statistics for prekindergarten through 12th grade in public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending include money for state education administration, but not federal, flow-through dollars, unless otherwise noted.

NEW YORK Even in Tough Times,
Schools Get New Aid

Despite a slumping economy exacerbated by last year's terrorist attack, New York has managed to increase funding for education.

A record $14.6 billion will go toward public schools from a total 2002-03 state budget of $89.6 billion. The 3 percent increase in K-12 school aid over last year's amount represents a continuing trend. New York has increased state funding for schools by almost 50 percent since 1995.

Gov. George E. Pataki

25 Democrats
36 Republicans
97 Democrats
52 Republicans
2.9 million

The budget includes, among other provisions, increases for teacher recruitment and after-school programs. The Advantage After-School program, which offers students supplemental after- school education at over 100 sites across the state, received a 25 percent increase—a boost of $5 million.

Releasing his budget earlier this year, Gov. George E. Pataki called the budget a "balanced, fiscally sound plan."

In other legislative action this year, lawmakers passed and the governor signed legislation that provides New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg with more control over his city's 1.1 million-student public schools.

Under the law, which represents the biggest governance change for the city's schools in three decades, New York's 32 community school boards will be abolished by June. The community boards were criticized for fiscal mismanagement.

The mayor also was given the power to appoint the city's schools chancellor. In July, Mr. Bloomberg named Joel I. Klein, a former head of the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust division, as the new chancellor. The mayor also gets to appoint eight of the city's board 13 members.

The change represented a significant victory for Mayor Bloomberg, who was elected last year and had sought greater control over the nation's largest school district.

—John Gehring

Vol. 22, Issue 13, Page 18

Published in Print: November 27, 2002, as Capitol Recap
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