Assembly Democrats on Saturday continued to hash out the finer points of the 2015-16 state budget and while a deal seemed close, details on school receivership, education aid distribution and a potential minimum wage hike linked to property tax relief still remained outstanding issues.
Speaker Carl Heastie met with Gov. Andrew Cuomo for about an hour on Saturday morning before returning to speak with some of the Democratic lawmakers who returned to the Capitol.
Broader questions remain on school aid, however, even as education reforms such as teacher evaluation criteria are no longer linked to funding.
Sources familiar with the discussion say a final school aid figure could be north of $1.4 billion. The more nettlesome task now underway for legislative and executive staff is distributing school aid, and the “runs” for districts may not be available until early next week.
“We’re still going over the break down on the education,” Heastie said.
Meanwhile, Assembly Democrats continue to raise concerns with Cuomo’s proposal to have the state takeover struggling schools.
Lawmakers want to include a local component for school receivership as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pushes his own renewal program for public schools on the local level.
It's quite telling that now that there's a mayor in New York City whose first instinct isn't to close schools that Cuomo, acting on the behalf of his ed deform and charter donors, is adamant that a) mayoral control is not a permanent thing and b) the state needs to have the power to take over "failing" schools.
You can bet if we were in a fourth Bloomberg term and he was still closing schools left and right, they wouldn't be pushing so hard for receivership.