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Education Commission Provides Preliminary Report To Governor

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Just a week before his State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo has received a preliminary report from his education commission, but one of the group's key recommendations is getting a cool reception from the governor. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

New York State already spends more per pupil than any other state in the nation, but test scores don't reflect that.

"We failed our kids," said Geoffrey Canada of the New New York Education Reform Commission. "It's just been a disaster. You look at any measure, from the national scores to our own Regents, our college readiness scores."

The 25-member New New York Education Reform Commission was created last April. Its preliminary findings will be incorporated in the governor's State of the State address later this month.

Its first recommendation is to expand pre-kindergarten to a full day for the neediest school districts, something Governor Andrew Cuomo is already saying may not be feasible.

"On the pre-k, I agree 100 percent. You'll get every kind of report and study will back that up," Cuomo said. "Frankly, it's going to be a question of money, because it's also very expensive."

"Am I dismayed? No. Nor am I surprised," said Dick Parsons, chairman of the New New York Education Reform Commission. "Money is always an issue, and it's a question of where are our priorities."

Governor Cuomo was also asked about his efforts to call a special legislative session on gun control over the holiday. Cuomo said that in years past, governors called lawmakers back even if there is no deal on legislation.

"I will bring them back when we have an agreement," Cuomo said. "We don't have an agreement. I won't call them back unless and until we have an agreement."

Negotiations are ongoing. The governor is pushing for a strengthened assault weapon ban, but said microstamping of ammunition may be out of reach.

"I support microstamping," he said. "I think it's highly improbable at this point that you would get agreement on it."

The governor still has a week to call a special session before the new legislature convenes.

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