Friday, April 8, 2011

"News flash: It's raining. Double news flash: It's pouring."

I agree with New York Governor Cuomo when he describes the public school funding crisis this way.
"News flash: It's raining. Double news flash: It's pouring."
The Wall Street Journal writes about what school districts are doing to address crisis conditions:
  • tapping deeper into reserves to avoid layoffs and cuts to programs and sport
  • 200 of the more than 700 public school districts in the state have agreed to concessions in recent years
Some examples of "innovating" and "cooperating":
— Rockland County's Ramapo school district, where teachers agreed to increase their contribution into their health benefits, along with a two-year pay freeze, saving $2.4 million over that time.
— Albany County's Bethlehem schools, where every employee accepted a pay freeze for at least most of the coming year, saving $1.3 million.
— Oneida County's Adirondack Central Schools board, which adjusted schedules so fewer buses were on the road at the same time and bought three buses instead of four, while reducing the number of positions that were to be cut.
— Jefferson County's Sackets Harbor schools, where every employee will go a second year without a raise.
Nobody seems to be increasing spending to a point where taxes will rise more than a few percentage points. 

Update:  Average school budget increase in New York expected to be at or below 1.4%

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