New York has settled a years-long legal fight over funding for schools in the state, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday said.
The governor broke the news to former rivals and critics of her predecessor who had prominently supported efforts to add billions of dollars in direct spending for schools deemed to be in "high-needs" districts across New York.
State lawmakers approved a budget this year that added billions of dollars in new aid for schools, with a promise to further that funding in the next budget as well.
Hochul spoke with Cynthia Nixon, an actress and public education advocate who had challenged then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the 2018 gubernatorial primary. She also spoke with the leadership of the Alliance for Quality Education and Sen. Robert Jackson, a New York City lawmaker who was closely associated the case.
"When we're taking steps, I think people should know what we are doing, and it's part of my transaprency," Hochul said. "I let her know that her advocacy and championing the cause of making sure there's quality education for children in our underserved communities — that legal battle is over and we have officially settled the lawsuit."
Hochul at a news conference on Wednesday also pledged to include the money for schoools "in the next budget" as well.
Hochul is potentially defusing what could be an issue raised by potential progressive primary challengers next year when she seeks a full term. Jumaane Williams, the New York City public advocate who has also been an outspoken suupporter of increasing school aid, has already formed an exploratory committee ahead of the June primary.