screen-shot-2015-06-08-at-12-40-47-pm-6164828Per-pupil spending in the 669 school districts outside New York’s five largest cities will climb next year by 2.5 percent, nearly twice the projected inflation rate, according to an analysis released today by the Empire Center for Public Policy. The analysis also indicates that school districts’ per-pupil property tax levies will increase by 2.1 percent in 2015-16.

The School Budget Spotlight is the only statewide report focused on enrollment-adjusted changes in budgets proposed by districts that have submitted data for the State Education Department’s (SED) annual school property tax report cards. The School Budget Spotlight provides per-pupil proposed school spending and tax measures for every district in the state as reported to SED, arranged by county and summarized by region.

Western New York school districts are proposing the highest average increase, at 3.4 percent, while school districts in the Mohawk Valley region are proposing the lowest increase at just 1.5 percent, the School Budget Spotlight shows.

Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center and author of the School Budget Spotlight, noted that school report cards are projecting a slight drop of 0.6 percent in public school enrollments.

“Taxpayers are going to be spending more money to educate fewer children,” Hoefer said. “The property tax cap is doing a great job of controlling the growth of the burden on local taxpayers. But if we’re going hit the brakes on taxes once and for all, school districts need to do more—and mandate relief from Albany would help.”

The data also show that only 20 18 districts, just three percent of the total, reported proposed tax levies that exceed their property tax caps. Another 301 districts, or 45 percent, have proposed levies that come within $1,000 of their caps.

The Empire Center is a non-partisan, independent think tank located in Albany.

You may also like

NY Special Education Fails Kids and Taxpayers: Report

New York’s special education system has ballooned to cover almost a fifth of public school K-12 students and special education accounts for about a quarter of all K-12 costs, all while producing middling results for stude Read More

Perverse Incentives, High Costs and Poor Outcomes

The state’s current and projected fiscal condition make this an appropriate time to examine what drives high special education spending in New York, how it’s serving children and how it can be improved. Read More

A Roadmap for Reimagining Education

The disruptions to K-12 education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic spurred Governor Cuomo to announce an initiative to “reimagine education.” This challenge should have policymakers asking what inadequacies have been exposed in our public education system, and which newly adopted practices should be permanent. Amidst a projected multi-year fiscal crisis, New York public schools should expect education spending cuts and should make plans to implement reforms without sacrificing quality. Read More

What Happens If Teachers Go On Strike?

New York’s largest teachers union this summer threatened to go on strike rather than allow schools to reopen for in-person classes—despite months of preparation by officials and a state law that prohibits union work stoppages. Read More

More Spending, Fewer Kids: Mapping NY School Budget Proposals

New York school districts are seeking voter approval of budgets that would raise their per-pupil spending by an average of more than four times the projected inflation rate. Most districts have proposed property tax hikes as high as the maximum allowed without supermajority overrides under the tax cap law. Read More

Benchmarking New York

New York State residents pay some of the highest local taxes in the nation. To help New Yorkers compare some of the basic fiscal measures for local governments, the Empire Center for Public Policy continues to calculate effective property tax rates and per-capita values for the spending, debt and tax levels of counties, cities, towns, villages and school districts throughout the state, excluding only New York City. Read More

Empire Center Ranks Local Taxes, Spending and Debt Across NY

The Empire Center today released its annual “Benchmarking New York” report, comparing and ranking government tax, spending and debt levels for hundreds of counties, towns, cities and villages throughout New York. Read More

Excelsior Scholarship “Illusion” Inferior to TAP, Report Says

NY's Excelsior Scholarship program is crudely designed, regressive and wasteful. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130
E-Mail: info@empirecenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.