Late-breaking news from Albany: according to this story in the Buffalo News, tax breaks for private and religious schools will not be in the state budget.
“A plan promoted by the Catholic Church to give lucrative state tax breaks to donors to private schools has died in last-minute budget talks, lawmakers said Thursday night, as has a push by charter schools to get the state to reimburse them for school building infrastructure improvements……The large tax break program for donors who give to nonprofit groups that, in turn, give to private schools was a top priority for the Catholic Church. The church’s leaders have said the plan would have helped reduce the need to close as many schools as dioceses around the state have in recent years.
“Instead, lawmakers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the final budget deal will increase an existing funding pot that goes to Catholic schools for state-mandated services for which they get reimbursed, such as student attendance services and scoring of state tests administered by the private schools. But sources say the state is behind by at least $200 million in those mandated services costs over the past 10 years and the amount being discussed for new aid this year will not come close to making up those past owed payments….
“The overall state aid to education will grow by $1.1 billion, up from the $800 million Cuomo proposed to a total of $22 billion…..
“Charter schools also are in line for more state funding. In return, they must agree to give state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli authority to audit their finances.”