News from the Associated Press - April 22, 2014

Associated Press
April 22, 2014

Gates-funded student data group to shut down

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The head of a student data processing organization says it will shut down in the coming months following criticism that led to the recent loss of its last active client — New York state.

The Atlanta-based nonprofit inBloom was started with $100 million in financing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Carnegie Corp.

The goal was to give educators a data tool to personalize instruction. But the idea of storing sensitive student data in cloud-based servers had parents and lawmakers worried about privacy and security.

Earlier this month, New York backed out of plans to use inBloom. Illinois was allowing districts to use it, but none had.

In a statement Monday, Chief Executive Iwan Streichenberger called its demise a "missed opportunity" for teachers and school districts.


Report: NY in best financial condition in years

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's comptroller says the state is in a favorable financial position, but relies heavily on borrowing and temporary resources.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report Monday showing the fiscal year-end general fund balance of $2.2 billion was $432 million more than projected in February and the state put money in a "rainy day fund" for the first time since 2008.

DiNapoli says the new budget relies on $4.9 billion in temporary state resources and $2.7 billion in federal aid related to Superstorm Sandy and the Affordable Care Act.

The nearly $140 billion budget authorizes $7.6 billion in new debt through public authorities and an increase of 5.4 percent, or $1.1 billion in school aid. There's also $340 million for full-day pre-kindergarten, with $300 million of that going to New York City.


Saratoga racino owners eye different casino site

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Owners of the Saratoga Casino and Raceway have dropped a push to bring Las Vegas-style gambling to the city known for its horse racing in favor of a proposal to build a casino closer to Albany.

The facility's owners say Monday that they will seek a license to operate a casino in East Greenbush in Rensselaer County, just across the Hudson from the state's capital.

The decision came after officials and residents in Saratoga Springs objected to plans for a full casino.

Groups interested in winning one of four upstate New York casino licenses have until Wednesday to pay a $1 million application fee. Selections will be made in the fall.

A state constitutional amendment passed last year authorizes the casinos. A majority of Saratoga County voters opposed the measure.

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