ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Catholic archbishop of New York, several weeks before re-introducing legislation to grant financial assistance for parents whose children attend private and parochial schools.
According to newly posted schedule records, the Democratic governor huddled with the Catholic prelate as well as with James Cultrara, the Catholic Conference's top education official, and Anthony de Nicola, a fund manager and board member of the group that pushed for the tax credit, on April 13 at the cardinal's residence in midtown Manhattan. Cuomo later held events around the state to rally support for the tax credit, which lawmakers did not enact.
The schedules also show:
-- Cuomo met with a trio of teachers' union leaders, Karen Magee of NYSUT, Michael Mulgrew of the UFT and Randi Weingarten of the AFT, on April 10, and again on April 22. The unions were vociferous opponents of the tax credit plan.
No word on what was discussed at those meetings.
Was it just about the tax credit plans?
Or was the rest of Cuomo's education reform agenda devised to "break" the public school system discussed as well?
In the end, I suppose it doesn't matter because we know what the outcome was:
They weren't terribly successful at much other than holding the line on vouchers (which may have happened because voucher proponents overplayed their hands anyway.)
Cuomo got pretty much everything else on education that he wanted.