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Cuomo: Schools With High Opt Out Rates Unlikely To Face Sanctions

(AP Photos/Mark Lennihan)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he doubts that there will be federal sanctions for schools that have high rates of students who boycotted standardized tests this spring.

20 percent of students statewide boycotted the controversial exams associated with the Common Core learning standards, with higher rates upstate and on Long Island. Federal officials had the power to sanction schools with high opt out rates by withholding funding, and the state’s education commissioner said a few days ago that she was talking to officials and would not rule out the sanctions compete.

But now Governor Cuomo said, as far as he knows, no schools will be financially punished

“I don’t believe there are sanctions for opt outs,” Cuomo said.

And the governor defended parents who chose to have their children skip the tests.

“At the end of the day parents are in charge and parents make the decisions,” he said.

The state education department confirms that there won’t be any sanctions for schools that have high opt out rates. They say federal officials have decided against it, and the state won’t pursue its own punishments.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.