"It's a new day in New York," Cuomo said at a news conference. "We set out to build a new New York. It's the first step down that road."Cuomo originally proposed a cut on $1.5 billion in school aid but Sunday's agreement restores $272 million.
The final budget is largely what Cuomo had proposed on Feb. 1 and doesn't include any new broad-based taxes.
The budget would reduce state spending by more than 2 percent from the current year, establish regional economic development councils and cut school aid by $1.2 billion.
Now contrast these numbers with those offered by Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin and the hysterical reaction from teachers.
Walker's budget cuts state school aid by $834 million over the next biennium, a 7.9 percent decrease. That accounts for about one fifth of proposed cuts in the budget.Both of these governors quite clearly understand that spending must be cut in order to avoid bankrupting their states, but we wonder why the reaction to both budgets are so different? In Wisconsin we recently witnessed a three-week temper tantrum by unions, yet in New York the reaction is mostly muted. Let's pretend roles were reversed and a Democrat proposed cuts to education in Wisconsin. Well, actually it happened just two years ago. In Wisconsin.
But the bigger impact on local school budgets is Walker's proposal to reduce by 5.5 percent next year the amount that districts can increase revenues, which combines state aid and property taxes. It would be the first time that revenue limits would decrease since they were imposed nearly 20 years ago.
"It's the largest cut to education in modern state history," said Dan Rossmiller, government affairs director for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards. "I can't imagine that anybody is looking forward to having to cope with this."
Last week, Doyle had warned of potential 5% cuts in aid to public schools and local governments. State aid to public schools is $5.1 billion a year; aid to local governments, $974 million.Yet when his successor looks to control spending, all hell breaks loose.
Doyle said he reluctantly agreed to the first cut in state aid to public schools in his seven years in office.
"We don't have any acceptable options," he said.
Now suppose a Republican governor chopped $1.2 billion from education in New York. The UFT and NEA would already be marching on Albany warning of impending doom and telling us how much Republicans hate children. The ubiquitous Hitler signs would be everywhere, the capitol would be under siege, the president would tell us the governor is attacking teachers and national media would descend like locusts to show solidarity.
Instead, there's relative silence coming out of New York. Why the double standard?