STUDENTS FROM All Saints Catholic Academy in Albany and St. Mary's School in Ballston Spa.
STUDENTS FROM All Saints Catholic Academy in Albany and St. Mary's School in Ballston Spa.

After vetoing similar legislation last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill that restores a standard for calculating state reimbursement of administrative mandates placed on Catholic and other religious and independent schools.

The “instructional time” standard of five hours per day for kindergarten through grade six and 5.5 hours per day for grades seven through 12 had been used for nearly four decades in calculating reimbursements. However, in recent years, the state had begun requiring many schools to factor in non-instructional hours as well, thereby reducing reimbursements.

By restoring the instructional time standard, the legislation, which passed unanimously in both the state Senate and Assembly, will save Catholic schools from facing at least a four-percent reduction in reimbursement in coming years.

“We are grateful to Gov. Cuomo and the entire Legislature for their action in averting devastating cuts in reimbursements to our schools,” said James Cultrara, director for education of the New York State Catholic Conference. The Catholic Conference advocates on behalf of the state’s bishops on issues of concern to Catholics.