Governor Vetoes Nonpublic School Aid Bill

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed legislation (S.6089) that would have averted cuts in state reimbursements to Catholic and other nonpublic schools.

The cuts are based on the state changing a nearly four-decade-old formula for calculating reimbursements, according to the New York State Catholic Conference, which represents New York state’s bishops in matters of public policy.

“The bishops of New York State are extremely disappointed in Governor Cuomo’s veto of this bipartisan bill,” said James D. Cultrara, director for education of the New York State Catholic Conference, in a release dated Dec. 19, the day after the veto.

“The governor’s action will have serious impact on our schools and to the tuition-paying families who must absorb cuts in reimbursement aid, even as public school funding soars to new record heights every year,” Cultrara added.

The Senate and Assembly first included the measure in both of their one-house budget proposals, but it was not enacted in the final budget. That necessitated the passage of the bill in separate legislation by both houses, in the Senate by a unanimous vote of 63-0 and in the Assembly by a vote of 133-6.

“This overwhelming support in the legislature makes the governor’s action all the more disheartening to our Catholic school communities,” Cultrara said.

“We will continue our advocacy to ensure that the four-decade-old basis for reimbursement is restored,” he said, “and that our schools get their fair share of reimbursement for providing state-mandated services.”

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