By Jessica Bakeman, Albany Bureau
ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed in his budget Tuesday to increase school aid by 3 percent and allocate additional resources to implement the initiatives he presented in his State of the State address.
The total amount pledged to education is about $21.1 billion, up $889 million, or 4.4 percent, from this year.
That includes $20.8 billion for aid to schools, $203 million to help stabilize districts that are struggling to keep up with growing costs and $75 million for reform initiatives, such as expanding pre-kindergarten programs and the school day or year.
The reform initiative funds will be awarded as competitive grants.
Specifically, the budget proposal directs $25 million to establishing full-day pre-K for high-need districts and $20 million for extended the school day or year in qualifying districts.
The proposal also allocates $15 million for community schools, where students will get health care and other services additional to schooling.
Another $11 million would go to rewarding high-performing teachers, providing $15,000 annual bonuses for four years for master teachers who train others, and $4 million would support early college high schools.
On the higher education side, the State University of New York would receive $969 million for its operating budget, flat funding from this year. Community colleges would get a $1 million bump, bringing total state aid to $652 million.
Aid by school district is expected to be released later Tuesday.