Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded Wednesday to several groups of public school students, parents and educators who are headed to Albany on Wednesday on buses to protest school aid in the state.
The group, led by the Alliance for Quality Education, a labor-backed policy group, plan to march to the Capitol, expressing concern that the state is not allocating enough money to provide every child with a sound, basic education, as required by the U.S. Constitution.
“Education funding went up 4 percent this year,” Cuomo said after a cabinet meeting Wednesday afternoon. “Four percent is a lot of money. That is a very, very large increase. What else in tour life has gone up 4 percent? Most people’s income hasn’t gone up 4 percent; their home value hasn’t gone up 4 percent; their savings account hasn’t gone up 4 percent. That is a significant increase.
“At one point, you can’t get water out of a stone,” he continued.
Last year, Cuomo and the Legislature decided to cap increases in education funding at the rate of personal income growth in New York. The state allocated the maximum, 4 percent, for this year.
Education officials and advocates have said even if the state again allocates the maximum increase allowed, schools will have to cut classroom resources.
Cuomo continued: “If they’re saying we should raise taxes higher in this state to fund more than a 4-percent increase in education, I disagree.”