June 18 matters: Schools try again to pass budgets

For those 32 school districts across the state whose budgets did not pass, the next three weeks are crucial. June 18 is the last chance to ask voters to approve a spending increase. We’re still collecting information about what those 32 districts will do. Here’s one link to news that the Newcomb district will again [...]

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School budget votes add up to wins and losses (Updated)

The oft-used phrase from ABC Sports about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat so applies to school budget votes. The thrill of victory is for the vast majority of school budgets across the state that passed. NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi called the successful voting day “a resoundingly positive message about public education. [...]

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Vote on school budgets today!

My school district’s proposed budget only increases .74 percent but, because the tax levy is going up 5.4 percent, 60 percent of voters need to approve it today for it to pass. The tax levy on local taxpayers has gone up because the South Colonie schools have lost $13.4 million in state aid over the [...]

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Tax cap + testing regime = broken schools

New York state lawmakers said passing a tax cap in 2011 was a huge achievement. Their goal was to rein in local property taxes. “They touted the Massachusetts tax cap law,” Alan Adcock, deputy superintendent for Massapequa schools, reminded a sold-out forum of more than 1,000 participants for Public Education at the Crossroads, sponsored by [...]

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Taxing Tuesday: Cut kindergarten?

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, well it does. Click here for a link to the Niagara Gazette article from yesterday that some on the school board in that community may cut kindergarten to fill the budget gap. What’s not in that article is that, for the past four years, the school [...]

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Fight Back: Testing, tax cap and more

Hundreds and, possibly, thousands of your NYSUT brothers and sisters are lobbying their lawmakers in their home district offices. Above are photos from a group of southern tier activists who met with Assemblyman Chris Friend, R-Big Flats yesterday. Bonnie Strope teaches second grade in Odessa-Montour schools. She spoke against high-stakes standardized tests for students in kindergarten, [...]

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May 21 matters: 5 weeks to go

Schools districts across the state have 10 days to adopt their 2013-14 school budgets. Most news articles I’ve seen point to districts choosing to stay within their property tax cap rates. Here’s a compilation for lower-Hudson area schools from the Journal News. In Schenectady County, where I live, so far one district is going to [...]

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May 21 matters: More tax cap pain

It is now seven weeks before most schools across the state vote on school budgets. Compared to last year, when a dozen school districts had a negative tax cap, (Here’s a link to remind you about last year’s situation) the good news is only a handful of districts face that situation this year. Listed alphabetically, [...]

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Tax Cap Tuesday

It’s nine weeks before the May 21 school budget vote. By now all of the districts, except the Big 5 that don’t have school budget votes, should know their tax cap number. By now newspapers and television stations are reporting budget cuts, like this one in Warwick. Here’s a radio report about the Wyoming, NY schools [...]

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Dates that matter before May 21

It’s 13 weeks before voters in most school districts across the state vote on school budgets. I’ve heard, so far, of one school district where some are thinking of piercing the property tax cap. Here’s a link to the Niagara Gazette article about the Wilson schools. Last year, of course, was the first year that [...]

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