Tag: Schools

The Empire Center for Public Policy, a fiscally conservative group, released a report Monday, meanwhile, that points to decreasing enrollment, increasing teacher salaries and high levels of staffing as factors in the continuing rise in school spending. Teachers in the Schenectady City School District earned a median salary of $59,651 in 2012-13, compared to $51,300 five years ago, according to the report. Read More

The full extent of the continuing rise in school spending since the recession was not inevitable or unavoidable. It was the result of (a) increasing teacher compensation costs driven largely by automatic pay raises, and (b) continued relatively high levels of staffing, relative to enrollment, especially in non-teaching titles. Read More

Cuomo has said that he could flip what is currently projected as a $1.7 billion deficit for the next fiscal year into a $2 billion surplus by 2016, provided he can hold state spending growth to two percent or less. That's going to be quite difficult, fiscal analysts note, as the state has already committed to spending increases for education and health programs. “Two percent growth in state operating funds yields the 'surplus' he's talking about. The question, though, is that 40 percent of that is Medicaid and school aid, and those are assumed to increase at four percent each year, and in Albany, those are seen not as caps, but floors,” said E.J. McMahon, president of the business-backed Empire Center. “So if that's off-limits to reduction, it's very difficult to see how everything else gets reduced enough to hold that two percent line.” Enter the waiver. If the state were able to count on the additional federal revenue, it could direct some of its own money elsewhere. Read More

The Empire Center crunched the numbers for new superintendent contracts ratified after July 1, 2013. In the Capital Region, the average salary was a modest $139,571. On Long Island, it was $208,422, followed by $207,540 in the Mid-Hudson region and $154,506 in the Finger Lakes. In some of the state's districts, salaries have topped $400,000. Read More

New labor contracts for 52 teachers’ unions and 104 school superintendents, ratified since July 1, 2013, are now available on www.SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s government transparency website, which is home to the most complete public collection of collectively-bargained school district contracts in the state. Read More

Policymakers throughout New York are finding it increasingly difficult to balance their budgets in the face of a depressed economy. The newly enacted tax cap has helped shine a light on the unsustainable budgeting, compensation and spending practices that are plaguing New York’s municipalities. Read More