Monday, January 31, 2011

In New York, state education costs rose more than twice inflation rate over last 15 years

Governor Cuomo wants to cut aid to schools, while the schools want the state to continue higher tax rates on wealthier taxpayers.  The Governor's budget comes out on February 1.

The state's fiscal picture is grim: a $42 billion budget gap over the next three fiscal years — $10 billion in the upcoming year, $15 billion in 2012-13 and $17 billion in 2013-14. 
"The State of New York spends too much money. It is that blunt and it is that simple," Cuomo said in his State of the State address this month. . . .
Fiscal experts say Cuomo has to retool a state budget with unsustainable growth rates. . . .
Cuomo has said that schools should no longer expect rapid rises in aid from Albany. From 1994 through 2009, inflation was about 2.7 percent a year, but education aid went up an average 6 percent a year, Cuomo has said.
New York spent $17,173 per student in the 2007-08 year, more than any other state and 67 percent more than the national average, according to U.S. census data.
School officials said they already dealt with a $1.4 billion decrease in aid in the current fiscal year and warn that deeper cuts would erode classroom learning. They are calling on Cuomo to continue higher income taxes for people making more than $200,000 a year, a provision set to expire at year's end. It brings in about $5 billion in annual revenue.
"Revenues and cost savings should come to the front of the line before we are cutting librarians, guidance counselors and teachers out of our classrooms," said Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education.
Schools also want relief from state mandates, saying that costs for pensions and health care are driving higher expenses.

For budget cuts, look no further than the biggest expenses - JN, 1/31/11 

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