By Eliza Shapiro, Keshia Clukey and Conor Skelding | 04/18/2017 09:58 AM EDT

TUITION PLAN ROUNDUP: Applications for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Excelsior Scholarship are expected to be available in late May, according to the Higher Education Services Corporation. This fall, in-state students coming from families earning $100,000 a year or less will be eligible to apply for the scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition at the state's public two- and four-year institutions. The scholarship comes after state tuition assistance and federal aid. Incoming students and those already attending a SUNY or CUNY school are eligible. While logistics are being worked out in terms of the application and distribution of the $87 million allocated in the 2017-18 budget for the scholarship, students already are in the process of selecting their schools and receiving aid packages for the fall, creating potential chaos for institutions. — POLITICO New York's Keshia Clukey

— View FAQs on the scholarship and sign up for an alert when the application becomes available, here.

— ICYMI: Cuomo defended his college tuition subsidies against criticism, saying the New York Times op-ed page has always been "unfair" to him and his father. — Times Union's Robert Downen. Read more here.

— "A family whose adjusted gross income on their tax form is $80,000 a year gets no need-based grant aid from Washington or Albany, so its budding student will get an Excelsior Scholarship to cover the full $6,470. This example shows the political wisdom behind the program. It targets with laser-like precision people making $60,000 to $100,000 (and that cap will soon rise to $125,000). They are the big winners, and they vote. The poor get nothing extra, and that helps limit the state's costs." —College of William & Mary professor David H. Feldman for Fortune. Read more here.

— "The 30-credit requirement has further inflamed a long-ranging debate over how to best ensure students, particularly first-generation and low-income students, earn their degrees after enrolling in college . It has also expanded to include discussion over the best way to encourage colleges and universities to help such students graduate on time. Those arguments join the disagreement over the program's work and residency restrictions ... Together, the discussions reflect the fact that the Excelsior Scholarship is a groundbreaking program that's captured attention across the country. Now the question is whether it will prove to be an effective policy, making it easier and cheaper for New York students to attend college, or an elaborate tangle of red tape that over promises, restricts students and will ultimately underperform." — Inside Higher Ed's Rick Seltzer. Read more here.

GOOD TUESDAY MORNING. Carmen Fariña, MaryEllen Elia and Betty Rosa and 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.

MASSEY PROPOSES VOUCHERS, MERIT PAY FOR NYC — POLITICO New York's Eliza Shapiro: Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey supports a school voucher program for New York City schools, according to a release outlining his "ambitious education reform" platform ... Taxpayer-funded voucher programs for private and parochial schools are championed by national Republicans — including President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — but are still considered a fringe idea in New York City. Read more here.

GRADUATION SEASON: New York City first lady Chirlane McCray will receive an honorary degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy this year. Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour will give the commencement address. — POLITICO New York's Conor Skelding

— Former Congressman Chris Gibson and veterinary pathologist Dr. Judith St. Leger, will deliver keynote addresses at SUNY Cobleskill's 99th commencement at 11 a.m. on May 13.

STAT OF THE DAY: As of April 7, the University at Buffalo has received 26,867 applications for domestic undergraduate admission, a 7.5 percent increase over last year. — University at Buffalo's David J. Hill. Read more here.

EDUCATION MOVES: Marc Cohen was re-elected by his peers as president of the SUNY Student Assembly, according to a news release. "One of the most significant issues facing student governments today is a lack of continuity in leadership," Cohen said in the release. "With a new Chancellor on the way, legislative battles yet to be fought, and so many critical issues facing the 600,000 students of the State University of New York, I am excited, proud, and humbled to have been elected for another term."

Daniel Fuller, who served as the governor's education policy adviser, was appointed Cuomo's assistant secretary for education, according to a Monday news release.

LISTEN IN: New York City teachers talk about how they handle politics in the classroom under President Trump, via the Brian Lehrer Show. Listen here.

COMING UP: The Center for an Urban Future and New York State Association of Training and Employment Professionals will host a policy symposium from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, at the Hilton Albany. The event will delve into how New York State can expand the rate at which adults who lack a high school credential can obtain one and then connect to post-secondary education. Speakers will include Amy Dalsimer executive director of the College and Career Pathways Institute at LaGuardia Community College; A. Gidget Hopf, president and CEO, Goodwill of the Finger Lakes and the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Literacy West NY CEO Lisa Lee; and state Education Department deputy commissioner Kevin Smith.

OPT-OUT UPDATE: More than half of the 244 school districts reporting had their test refusal rates decrease for the state standardized, Common Core-aligned third- through eighth-grade English language arts testing earlier this month, according to data collected by High Achievement New York, a pro-Common Core coalition of business and community groups. View the High Achievement database here.

CONGRATS: "A documentary produced by three Skaneateles High School students about gay rights has earned a grand prize in the Speak Truth to Power video contest and will be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film 'LGBTQ Rights: A Documentary' was created by Veronica Ryan, Catherine Cramer and Bridget Neumann as a part of their high school honors English class." — Post Standard's Charley Hannagan. Read more here.


— "Is gifted education really a pipeline for specialized high schools? Based on a small analysis, the answer seems to be yes — and no." — Chalkbeat's Christina Veiga. Read more here.

— "The Rochester City School District is aiming to reduce its special education classification rate, saying many of those students could receive intervention services in a less onerous way." — Democrat and Chronicle's Justin Murphy. Read more here.


— "Some of New Jersey's urban high schools had more than half of their students chronically absent last school year, according to new data released by the state." — NJ Advance Media's Adam Clark and Carla Astudillo. Read more here.


— How a government shutdown could impact education. — Education Week's Andrew Ujifusa. Read more here.

BONUS: Syracuse University professor George Saunders's first novel, "Lincoln in the Bardo," could soon be a movie. — Post Standard's Julie McMahon. Read more here.

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