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Cuomo Proposes Higher-Education Initiative in New York Prisons

It was nearly two years ago that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo floated a plan for the state to pay for college courses for inmates. But it sank in the face of withering opposition from critics who mocked Mr. Cuomo’s initiative as “Attica University” and Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation who argued that New York should put “kids before cons.”

On Sunday, however, Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, reintroduced the plan through a new and seemingly less vulnerable financing mechanism, using about $7.5 million in criminal forfeiture funds from the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., whose coffers are filled with hundreds of millions of dollars in bank settlements.

An additional $7.5 million will come from private matching funds, according to the governor’s office, which hopes to offer what it calls an “integrated curriculum” to about 1,000 inmates statewide over the next five years.