Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - School districts across the state are studying Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal for education reform.
The Governor has proposed a longer school day and year, as well as competitive grants for school districts who adapt.
Other proposals from the governor that his supporters are calling progressive include making educators pass an exam before they can teach in a New York classroom and pay for performance by giving bonuses for high-performing teachers.
“I think merit pay is going to be tough because you never have apples to apples students or demographics so I think it’s very difficult to say that one teacher truly is performing better than another,” said West Genesee School District Superintendent Chris Brown.
The governor also wants full day pre-kindergarten across the state, saying early education has proven to help kids perform better in school and they are less likely to find trouble with the law.
“Particularly for kids who come from a disadvantaged background, if we can get them into an education program earlier and keep them in school longer throughout the day and the year they'll benefit greatly,” said Tim Kremer with the NYS School Board Association.
But the proposed changes could be daunting for public school budgets.
Some educators say that certain schools will have a hard time paying for the changes. They’re concerned that if a school can’t afford to implement a change, their students could fall behind.
Cuomo says the state will offer competitive grants to districts that put these measures in place, but the amount of money won’t be known until the budget is made public.
Cuomo’s budget will be presented to the state legislature in the coming weeks.
Cuomo says New Yorkers should know what proposals will go into effect and how it will be funded by April 1.