ALBANY – Legislators have released details of the newly adopted 2015-2016 budget that was passed just hours after the midnight deadline on Wednesday.
After weeks of closed-door meetings, lawmakers reached an agreement on the $142 billion budget which includes contentious education reforms, ethics reform for state officials, and a $5.4 billion investment in New York State’s economy.
“This $142 billion budget is the most meaningful that we have agreed to in many years, not because of what we are spending but because of how we are spending it,” Cuomo stated on Wednesday. “We are not just maintaining services and the status quo with this budget. We are investing in a new future for our state.”
In education, the financial plan includes $1.3 billion additional in education aid, as well as revisions to teacher evaluations, new rules for the dismissal of ineffective teachers, and changes that allow the state to take over failing schools. It further overhauls the process of teacher tenure by extending tenure eligibility from three years to four years. Instead of seniority, tenure will be granted on performance, 50 percent of which will be based on teacher evaluations.