Empire Center Shares The Real School Rules

| Press Releases

Just in time for the start of another school year, the Empire Center has updated its comprehensive SeeThroughNY database of teacher union contracts for school districts across New York State.

“For better or worse, on topics ranging from evaluation to class size and courseload limits, teacher union contracts play a significant and even decisive role in shaping educational practices in our school districts” said Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center. “By posting full contracts online, we can give parents a glimpse of the rules by which their schools are staffed and run. They also help taxpayers understand the factors driving staffing levels and compensation costs.”

A total of 310 new teachers union and superintendent contracts were added to the database. A 2014 Empire Center study found that few school districts post their contracts online, and prior to the launch of SeeThroughNY, almost none were available electronically.

The Center is also preparing to sue 11 districts for failing to comply with Freedom of Information Law requests to provide copies of their contracts. They are:

  • Amagansett Union Free School District
  • Brookfield Central School District
  • Cassadaga Valley Central School District
  • Croton-Harmon Union Free School District
  • Galway Central School District
  • New Suffolk Common School District
  • North Warren Central School District
  • Sandy Creek Central School District
  • Thousand Islands Central School District
  • White Plains City School District
  • Whitehall Central School District

In 2015, the Empire Center prevailed and was awarded costs in a similar lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies to make New York a better place to live, work and do business.