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

Empire Center Experts React to the 2023 State of the State 

In response to Governor Hochul’s State of the State address and policy book, Empire Center experts issued the following reactions. Read More

Math Proficiency Plummets on Statewide Exams, Latest Data Show

The report, issued just as the new Legislature convenes, analyzes the results of the first full administration of these annual exams to be conducted since the onset of the pandemic.  Read More

Learning Loss in New York During the Pandemic

Last Spring, students statewide in grades 3-8 sat for annual state assessments to measure proficiency in English language arts (ELA) and math. Read More

Empire Center Issues State Policy Guide 

The Empire Center for Public Policy has released a policy guide and briefing book focused on the most important issues confronting New York. Read More

New York Property Tax Calculator 2021

New York’s property tax rates are generally among the highest in the nation. Specific property tax burdens vary widely throughout the state. Read More

Benchmarking New York 2021

To help New Yorkers compare certain basic fiscal measures for local governments, the Empire Center has calculated effective property tax rates and per-capita values for the spending, debt and tax levels throughout the state. Read More

School Districts Must Cover Majority of Bus Electrification Costs

Federal and state assistance would pay for only about 10 percent of the state’s total effort to electrify its entire school bus fleet, according to a new Empire Center research paper. Read More

Charging Forward: New York’s Costly Rush to Electrify School Buses

A new law requires New York State’s school bus fleet be entirely zero-emission by 2035. But it's unlikely the state can meet that deadline. Read More

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!