New York loves to tout its strong school systems, especially when it comes to higher education. However, saying you are #1 isn't the same as being #1.

America's Most Educated States

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A recent report from WalletHub looked into America's state of education. The study was inspired by a recent finding that those with college degrees typically earn roughly $600 to $1,200 more than those without.

WalletHub compared all 50 states and used 18 different metrics to determine which were the most and least educated. Data included educational attainment, school quality and achievement gaps between genders and races per state.

In the end, New York failed to make the top five... or even the top 10. For a state that boasts about how amazing its school system is, this is an incredibly devastating blow.

New York's Performance

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WalletHub determined the Empire State was the 15th most educated in America, coming behind Montana, Illinois, Delaware and Utah.  While some may argue coming in 15th place isn't a bad thing, the bigger issue is what caused New York to miss the top 10.

When it came to educational attainment, New York was the 18th best in that category. It also landed in 14th place in terms of quality of education.

The state also had the 9th highest number of residents with bachelor degrees and the sixth-highest number of those with graduate or professional degrees.

New York's college and university quality was rated 7th best overall.

The Empire State performed very poorly in other categories, such as coming in second-last in terms of gender gap in educational attainment. It also ranked 44th best when looking at the number of residents that have high school diplomas.

New York was also 29th best when looking at how many residents have an associate's degree or college experience. The state also was 27th best for racial gap in educational attainment.

$419 Million Proposed in School Aid Cuts

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This finding comes as nearly 700 school districts raised the alarm over Governor Kathy Hochul's proposed budget. The plan would slash $419 million in aid to New York schools, which critics say would significantly harm those in rural areas.

In Hochul's recently unveiled Foundation Aid budget for the 2024-2025 school year, she posed that making the cuts would help the state save money. Foundation Aid is put aside each year to ensure all schools are able to equitably access state funds, which leveled the playing field for high-need districts and rural schools.

Read More: 14 New York Colleges Have Been Named Worst in the Country

Local school leaders say the move is dangerous.  Brian Bellair, Superintendent with Whitesboro Central School, explained that letting these cuts stay in the budget would mean rural school districts like Oriskany, Cayuga, Camden, and others would see hundreds of thousands stripped from their budgets.

Greg Cuthbertson, Superintendent with Oriskany Central School, said that if the budget goes through, the district will lose nearly $510,000 from its total budget.

Southern Cayuga CSD, which services roughly 750 students, said the cuts would be over $1 million.

The budget is currently a proposal, which means school leaders are actively discussing with local lawmakers about why this move would cause harm to New York's education.

State Senator John Mannion lambasted the proposal after speaking to his constituents. Additionally, Assemblyman John Lemondes, a Republican representing much of Cayuga County, said the proposal needs to "go back to the drawing board" because suburban and rural schools stand to be significantly harmed if nothing is done.

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