Tag: Schools

What the bond’s potential interest costs might be are difficult to predict, though one fiscal watchdog, E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center for Public Policy, estimated the true cost of the $2 billion bond will be at least $500 million in interest. “It is one of the most poorly conceived and wasteful bond acts in New York State history,” McMahon said. Read More

“The bond act ultimately isn’t about the desirability of classroom technology or pre-K expansions — although both are certainly debatable,” E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center said in a statement he issued Monday. “The core issue raised by Proposal 3 is whether a state general obligation bond issue, even one with a relatively short ‘weighted average’ duration of 10 to 20 years, is the best way of paying for a combination of short-lived tech and long-lived buildings, when existing annual state aid categories already subsidize both without testing the state’s bond limits.” Read More

In New York, the proposal is drawing criticism from those who say the state shouldn’t use scarce capital-financing capacity for equipment that may become obsolete or may not be used properly because of lack of training. E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center for New York State Policy in Albany, a research group that advocates less government spending, said not every school district needs the money. “You’re putting cash on the table in front of bureaucrats saying use it or lose it, whether they need it or not,” McMahon said. Read More

This proposal doesn’t make much sense. Taxpayers are being asked to pay principal and interest on debt well beyond the life of iPads, laptops and other computer and technology equipment. E.J. McMahon, president of the fiscal-watchdog Empire Center, agrees: “Cuomo seems to rely on an arbitrary number and would pay for technology that will be outdated and useless before the state’s indebtedness is even paid off.” Read More

Administrators at Long Island school districts continue to rank among the top earners in the state, occupying nine of the top 10 slots, according to figures compiled by an Albany-based think tank. Former Riverhead Central School District Assistant Superintendent Joseph Ogeka Jr., who retired earlier this year, drew the highest overall compensation, with $376,340 during the 2013-14 academic year, according to figures released Thursday by the Empire Center for Public Policy. Read More

The fiscally conservative Empire Center seems to be the only group actively lobbying on behalf of the bond proposal—and the think tank is decidedly against it. “The annual payments on $2 billion in bonds could ultimately come to more than $130 million a year,” E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center, wrote in an op-ed in Wednesday’s New York Post. “A far better way to ‘equalize opportunities to learn’ would be to spend that money on added annual aid to public and charter schools serving the state’s neediest children.” Read More