By Eliza Shapiro, Keshia Clukey and Conor Skelding | 05/17/2017 09:56 AM EDT

EXCELSIOR EFFECT: PROGRAM COULD CAUSE CASH FLOW PROBLEMS FOR SOME STATE COLLEGES — POLITICO New York's Keshia Clukey: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Excelsior tuition scholarship could result in fiscal uncertainty at the state's two- and four-year public colleges because of cash flow issues for at least the first year of the program, which some will be able to weather better than others.

The schools have brought up their concerns with the state Higher Education Services Corp., which is in the process of writing regulations for the program. They are due out at the end of the month. Cash flow problems could result from several factors, including the timing of the state's payment to schools, frozen tuition levels, and having to collect from students who don't meet the requirements for their scholarships. All of these issues were brought up at the most recent State University system board meeting.

Initially some administrators told POLITICO New York that payments wouldn't come until a student completed the school year. HESC has since clarified that payments will be made at the end of each semester when a student successfully completes the term, as is the case with state tuition assistance. (The state allocates $1 billion annually in TAP dollars that follow students to public and privates institutions.)

"This is why the Excelsior program, while very good natured ... causes another cash flow issue for the campuses," Josh Sager, SUNY associate vice chancellor for finance and business said at the recent SUNY Board of Trustees meeting. "Now this is just another piece of ... money [that] is coming in later in the year versus when you're supposed to receive tuition." Read more here.

— The Senate higher education committee Tuesday moved a bill sponsored by Sen. Jeff Klein that would allow the state's proprietary colleges to be included in the "Enhanced Tuition Assistance" program. It will now go before the Senate Finance Committee. Senate Higher Education Committee chairman Ken LaValle said the measure should have been included in the original budget legislation. Read more on the issue here, and view the bill here.

GOOD WEDNESDAY MORNING. Carmen Fariña will attend a meeting of the Panel for Educational Policy in Manhattan. The state Assembly and Senate will convene in Albany. State Higher Education Services Corporation acting president Guillermo Linares will host an Excelsior Scholarship information session at Onondaga Community College, and Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito will host a session at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. MaryEllen Elia and Betty Rosa did not release public schedules.

This newsletter is for you, so tell us how we can make it better. Send feedback, tips and education-related events to, and Follow us on Twitter: @elizashapiro, @keshiaclukey, and @conorskelding.

GET YOUR TICKETS! The annual Legislative Correspondents Association show (featuring all your favorite Albany POLITICO reporters) is on Tuesday, May 23 at the Egg in Albany. Order tickets online here or call Teresa at (518) 455-2388.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "This was really something out of the ordinary." — Carmen Fariña speaking at City Council hearing about DHS agents visiting a Queens school last week. Read more about the incident here.

— The Education Trust-New York, Advocates for Children of New York, the New York Immigration Coalition and The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Inc. released a report looking at how New York school districts protect and support immigrant students. Read the report here.

EDUCATION MOVES: "After a yearlong civil war inside Central Park East I, a progressive elementary school in East Harlem, the school's embattled principal has stepped aside, New York City's Education Department said on Monday, handing a victory to parents who had accused her of seeking to dismantle the school's traditions. The principal, Monika Garg, will retain her title and salary as a principal but will no longer have a school to run." — New York Times' Kate Taylor. Read more here.

LIFE BEFORE 3-K — Chalkbeat's Christina Veiga: "Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans last month to extend pre-K to 3-year-olds, a massive expansion of his popular Pre-K for All program. But a little-noticed element of the proposal could be just as significant: He called for the Department of Education to take over programs that reach children as young as six weeks old." Read more here.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: Vassar College, in collaboration with Bard, Bennington and Sarah Lawrence colleges, was awarded a $136,000 planning grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop curriculum and a social engagement structure around issues of forced migration and displacement, according to a news release. The project, the Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement and Education, builds on the faculty- and student-led Vassar Refugee Solidarity Initiative.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Columbia University teaching assistants unfurl a banner during a graduation ceremony demanding the administration bargain with Graduate Workers of Columbia-UAW. Watch here.


— MaryEllen Elia visited a Renewal School, August Martin High School, this week, according to the Renewal program's superintendent, Aimee Horowitz. Read more here.

— "Chancellor Carmen Fariña will issue instructions to principals to give school lunch to any student who asks for it, even if they don't have money to pay for it, she said Tuesday. The de Blasio administration has long resisted a proposal pushed by the City Council to make school lunch free for all kids. But Fariña told the Council her policy is never to deny a student food, and she would make it official with written guidance sent to all schools." — Daily News' Erin Durkin. Read more here.

— "When Buffalo teachers finally settled their long-standing contract dispute with the school district last fall, some thought it was a signal that their battle-tested leader, Phil Rumore, would ride off into the sunset. Rumore is about to turn 75 and has led the Buffalo Teachers Federation for more than 35 years. But union elections have rolled around again and Rumore is still there. In fact, he is the only BTF presidential candidate." — Buffalo News' Jay Rey. Read more here.

— Voting for Poughkeepsie schools was delayed due to ballot errors. — Poughkeepsie Journal's Abbott Brant and Nina Schutzman. Read more here.


— A lawsuit has already been filed to stop the state from requiring that students pass the PARCC exams to graduate high school. And there's mounting pressure from advocates for the state Senate to pass a resolution declaring the use of PARCC as an exit exam runs counter to legislative intent. ... While the issue continues to play out in court and on the legislative stage, PARCC critics are hoping to put the matter to rest once a new governor takes office in January. — POLITICO New Jersey's Linh Tat. Read more here.

— "Add Bloomfield College to the list of New Jersey schools questioning the value of standardized tests. The small, private college will no longer require prospective freshmen to submit SAT or ACT scores with their applications, school officials announced Tuesday." — NJ Advance Media's Kelly Heyboer. Read more here.

STUDY UP: "A rural Upstate New York school district that installed Wi-Fi on its school buses has seen improvement in students' behavior. ... Misbehaviors on buses with Wi-Fi have decreased by about 50 percent since, according to a 'success story' posted on Kajeet's website." — Post Standard's Julie McMahon. Read more here.

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