The rhetoric has heated up this budget season as New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo attempts to make sweeping changes to public education.  The budget is due by this Tuesday and Cuomo has threatened to hold back a large amount of funding if legislators fail to approve his new policy.

Kristine Bellino, WIBX
Kristine Bellino, WIBX

Dr. Rick Timbs of the Statewide School Finance Consortium recently released a video taking many of the statements from the Governor's office to task (watch the video above).

The Governor's Administration is Pro-Student and Pro-Education

Timbs says that doesn't seem to be the case.  He cites the fact that through the GAP Elimination, the State has withheld $9.53 billion from public schools in New York over the last 5 years.

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Timbs says those numbers are based on averages that don't add up properly.  "When we take a look at national averages we're averaging in South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida; very low expenditure states and their scores show it," he said.  He also shows a graph that shows the difference between the wealthy districts, some of which spend $90,000 per year per student versus poorer school districts (such as those in the Mohawk Valley) that spend $11,000 per student per year.  Additionally, the poorer school districts often times face high levels of poverty and students who are classified 'English Second Language.'

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Timbs says this is absolutely not true.  "Schools have no idea what it will be," said Timbs. "We have no runs from the Governors officially tell us how much that money really is."

During the video, Timbs also discusses the issue of the Governor's so called 'Failing Schools' and displays several graphs and data that challenges the Governor's claims.

Watch Timbs on WSYR-TV's Newsmaker program here.

Editor's Note: Timbs is the President of the Statewide School Finance Consortium in Syracuse. He is a resident of New Hartford, NY and was formerly the Superintendent of Schools at Oriskany Central School. Timbs is the father in law of WIBX's Bill Keeler, who produced the above video and authored this story.

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