Putting Students First

Governor Cuomo believes that the only way to achieve a vibrant economic future for all New Yorkers is by ensuring that all children receive a quality education that prepares them for the 21st Century.

Before Governor Cuomo took office, New York had become known as the state with the highest school spending despite low overall student achievement.  New York ranked #1 in the nation for school funding (with an average of $19,076 per student), yet too many students were continuing to slip through the cracks – the result of an education system that for too long was driven by bureaucracy instead of innovation.

By shifting the focus from bureaucracy to the students, enacting fundamental reform that bases funding on performance, and establishing new pathways to college and career readiness, Governor Cuomo is putting students first.

New York has become a leader in the nation in placing the most effective teachers in the classroom.  For the first time, every New York school district now has a meaningful teacher evaluation system to ensure a performance-based approach to student learning.  Governor Cuomo is also providing incentive funding to recognize and reward the most successful teachers.

After years of budget cuts, Governor Cuomo is championing reinvestment in New York classrooms. In the last three years, the Governor has increased funding for education by $2.9 billion.  The most recent state budget includes an additional $1.1 billion increase, bringing state education funding to its highest level ever.  And the Governor is ensuring that additional school funding does not lead to unaffordable property tax hikes: the Governor’s landmark Property Tax Cap reform continues to provide property tax relief to all New Yorkers. Since the tax cap has been enacted, statewide school levy increases have been lower than 9 of the 10 prior years.

Governor Cuomo continues to champion innovation and performance in the classroom. In 2014-15, the Governor built on the success of the first State-funded full-day pre-kindergarten program by committing to invest $1.5 billion over five years to support the phase-in of a Statewide Universal Full-Day Pre-Kindergarten program. He has led the charge for choice and

competition by protecting the growth of high-performing charter schools.  While demanding high standards for all students, the Governor championed reforms to protect students and parents from the flawed Common Core implementation. And to bring our education system into the 21st century, Governor Cuomo proposed a $2 billion “Smart Schools” bond that will reimagine our classrooms for our high-tech world and level the playing field so that income does not determine the level of access our students have to technology in schools.

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