Statement of NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer on State Budget Agreement
FOR RELEASE: March 27, 2012
CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 783-3716 or (518) 320-2221 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards
Governor Cuomo and the state Legislature earn straight As for a school funding increase, an on-time state budget and two-year predictability.
The 2012-13 state budget incorporates much of what NYSSBA and its member districts have advocated throughout negotiations.
The budget ensures that state aid increases target high-needs school districts. Lawmakers struck a balance between the desire to promote innovation through competitive grants and schools' need for flexible operating aid.
Lawmakers made progress in reforming the cumbersome teacher disciplinary process. This includes allowing the state education commissioner to determine reasonable cost limits on disciplinary hearings, disqualifying hearing officers and changing payment structures to encourage timely outcomes.
Other highlights include:
- Avoiding cost shifts from the state and local governments onto our schools.
- Providing additional aid to teacher centers, adult literacy programs and libraries. Reimbursable aid categories, such as BOCES, special education, transportation and building aid are all funded according to their existing formulas.
- Preventing a pre-school special education cost shift from the state and counties to school districts.
Lawmakers recognize that this is a time when school districts need help from Albany, not more restrictions and rules. Still, many school districts will continue to face dire local budget consequences this year and into the future.
State leaders can use the remainder of the legislative session to help school boards tackle rising personnel costs by reforming the Triborough Amendment and addressing other important mandate relief measures.
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