Statement of NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer on the State Budget
School boards will see a record $1.3 billion state aid increase that eliminates more than half of the remaining Gap Elimination Adjustment, makes substantial reforms to the teacher disciplinary process, and provides school leaders with an additional year to act upon tenure decisions.
NYSSBA has long fought to gain a stronger decision-making role for management over staffing.
At the same time, the record aid increase comes at a steep price: school boards must re-negotiate new teacher and principal evaluation agreements to receive their increase – which, given the current climate, are likely to be testy negotiations in many districts.
We had hoped the linkage of a state aid increase to APPR was simply a bad April Fool's joke.
Additionally, the budget imposes yet another costly mandate – a requirement to use independent evaluators – upon school districts.
Finally, the budget is notable for what was not included: an increase in the charter school cap, an education investment tax credit, and a tax credit tied to the property tax cap.
While certainly not ideal, the "receivership" proposal at least now provides local school leaders with the opportunity to improve academic results before resorting to a dramatic, third-party takeover. Under the revised receivership proposal, the lowest performing schools can now get an infusion of resources to improve performance.
All in all, school boards have been given additional resources and tools they need to invest in educational programs and improve teaching quality.