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Cuomo pushes for change in state education

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Updated: 1/08 10:48 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. – Governor Cuomo delivered his State of the State address in Albany on Wednesday afternoon, and one topic he discussed in depth was education.

Educators, including Executive Director of the NYS School Board Association Tim Kremer, believe the governor is moving in the right direction following the address.

Cuomo addressed the idea of universal Pre-K, providing full day pre-kindergarten to children in high needs communities.

The governor said he is willing to put forth a lot of money in support of the program, but educators say it needs to be fully funded by the state. Cuomo did not speak about to what extent universal Pre-K would be funded.

Cuomo also wants to encourage some of the best and brightest students in the state to plan on studying science, technology, engineering and math.

The STEM areas are seeing job growth and the governor wants to provide full tuition scholarships for any state college or university to top 10-percent of high school graduates. It would be a requirement for those students to pursue a degree in the STEM fields and they must work in the state for at least five years.

It was also proposed that teachers who are rated highly effective would be eligible for a bonus in pay. This idea has educators on board. Participating schools districts would get up to $20,000 in annual extra compensation through a teacher excellence fund.

"The idea that we are going to link performance to some sort of compensation, this is the way the rest of the world works," said Kremer.

Some of the concerns educators have is where will the money come from to fund these big ideas.

One thing educators were surprised at is the Governor did not bring up the implementation of Common Core standards after all of the hearings that have taken place in the state.

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