Smaller school districts facing budget issues and financial tangles may want to consider merging with neighboring schools. That's the gist of a new report issued by the New York State School Boards Association.
The recently merged Oppenheim Ephratah St. Johnsville School District in Montgomery County is regarded by many as a “showcase” model for a successful merger, in the spirit of the NYSSBA report.
The Ulster County executive is behind a statewide tour to learn how municipalities in New York are best coping with fiscal challenges. This comes during an era of unfunded mandates and a two-percent property tax cap. He says the idea is to prevent communities from becoming distressed or on the brink of bankruptcy.
The initiative is called PAYGo NY. Ulster County Executive Michael Hein says it harkens back to a philosophy of pay as you go. Hein is also president of the New York State County Executives Association.
More than 95 percent of the school budgets that went before the voters in New York on Tuesday were approved but, those that exceeded the two percent property tax cap did not fare as well. Only about 30 percent of those spending plans were approved.
The executive director of the New York State School Boards Association, Tim Kremer, tells WAMC's Brian Shields the initial results show 630 school districts budgets were approved with 30 rejected.
New York residents are voting on their school districts' proposed budgets for next year.
Authorities say the average proposed tax levy increase is 2.8 percent, with school spending rising about the same amount, driven by increases in contributions to employee retirement systems.
This is the second year school districts are working under New York's tax cap law, which generally limits tax levy increases to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. Budget proposals that exceed the cap need a 60 percent supermajority of votes to pass.
There’s a new system ready to be put in place in New York State to help identify local governments and school districts under financial strain. The idea is to flag financial problems before they spiral into a crisis.
The New York State Comptroller’s office has finalized plans to implement a statewide fiscal monitoring system to identify local governments and school districts under or nearing financial stress, by classifying their fiscal conditions. Brian Butry is a spokesman for State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
WAMC's Brian Shields speaking with Tim Kremer, the executive director of the New York State School Boards Association.
After accepting the recommendations of a panel appointed to study how public schools in New York can be improved, Governor Andrew Cuomo made it clear that not all schools are created equal, and they cannot be treated as such. The governor says schools in the poor, high-needs areas of New York must also provide student support in social services. Tim Kremer, the executive director of the New York State School Boards Association, agrees with the governor but has concerns about where the money will come from. He spoke today with WAMC’s Brian Shields.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed the teacher evaluation bill into law. Parents will be able to see the evaluations for their own child’s teacher, but the information will not be available to the general public or the media. Tim Kremer , the executive director of the New York State School Boards Association tells WAMC’s Brian Shields that the evaluation system , which the governor has described as evolving, needs to become more valid.
School budget votes will be held across New York next Tuesday, and this will be the first year that districts must comply with the state’s new two percent property tax cap. Most of the school budgets to be decided next week are within the cap, but school officials say it will come at a cost. WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke with Tim Kremer, executive director of the New York State School Boards Association.
As some education advocates praise the additional school funding announced as part of the New York State budget agreement, schools must now work through their own budgets, while, for the first time, considering the state’s 2 percent property tax cap.
WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke to Tim Kremer, executive director of the New York State School Boards Association, on the fiscal future of New York’s schools in the wake of yesterday’s budget agreement.