News from Associated Press - February 24, 2014

Associated Press
February 24, 2014

Tuition aid for students in NY illegally gets bump

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Supporters of a bill that would give New York students in the U.S. illegally access to state tuition assistance weren't giving it much of a chance in this election year, planning instead for a push in 2015.

But unforeseen support from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and more Democratic lawmakers has breathed new life into the state's proposed "Dream Act" and given hope to immigrant students who would otherwise be shut out of state financial aid.
The Dream Act proposal includes a budget appropriation of $25 million to open up Tuition Assistance Program money for students in the country illegally.

Prospects for the immigrant financial aid bill remain uncertain in the Senate. Four Senate Democrats haven't publicly weighed in on the bill, which passed easily in the Democrat-controlled Assembly last year.


Tax break helps NYC lure 'The Tonight Show' home

NEW YORK (AP) — The Tonight Show returned to New York this week, ending its four decades stop on the West Coast.

New host Jimmy Fallon is a New Yorker who says he wants the excitement of the nation's largest city to permeate his show. But there's another key reason for the show's return home: an unconventional New York State tax credit that could potentially save NBC more than $20 million a year.

The language of the 30 percent credit is remarkably specific, applying to shows that film in front of a studio audience and spent at least five years elsewhere.
NBC says it helped make the move possible. Similar credits have helped TV and movie productions thrive in the state but experts are divided about whether it's worth it.


NY groups eye lawsuit over school funding

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Two education advocacy groups say they're gathering evidence from school districts across New York with an eye toward suing the state over school funding.

The Alliance for Quality Education and Campaign for Fiscal Equity say they'll spend all next week visiting schools. They begin Monday with stops at the Cohoes and Hoosick Falls districts near Albany.

Organizers say the state is falling short of its obligation to provide students with a sound basic education and has broken a funding promise that came out of a 2006 court ruling.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed spending $807 million more on schools in the next school year. That includes a $682 million increase in general school aid, while the rest is earmarked for pre-kindergarten, teacher merit pay and an expansion of technical programming.

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