NY's Excelsior Scholarship program is regressive and wasteful
There's good news and bad news about Rochester schools from a new study comparing the variation in educational quality within urban educational systems.
The good news: measured by standardized pupil proficiency scores, there's only an 8.6 percentage point gap between good and bad schools in Rochester.
The bad news: even Rochester's good schools—those in the 75th percentile—have the lowest proficiency scores among the 68 largest urban school systems in the country.
New York's spending on elementary and secondary education reached a record $23,091 per pupil in 2017, once again topping all other states in this category, according to the latest U.S. Census data.
Over the past seven years, New York’s cap on local property tax levies has generated billions of dollars in savings for homeowners and businesses, compared to previous trends. The cap has been especially effective in restraining school property taxes, which have long been the largest and fastest-growing component of New York’s tax burden.
It’s commonly perceived that New York’s education funding system directs more money to wealthier, whiter schools than to poorer, less white schools – and that the distribution of state aid reinforces those inequities. Looking at the totality of school spending across the state, however, different patterns emerge.
When public schools across the Empire State open their doors for 2018-19, pupil enrollment will be at its lowest level in nearly 30 years.
New York surpassed all states with per-pupil elementary and secondary school spending of $22,366 per pupil as of 2016, according to the latest U.S. Census data.
Nearly half of the 669 school districts seeking voter approval for budgets on Tuesday, May 15 are presenting spending plans that would increase property taxes as high as the 2011 property tax cap law allows, according to an analysis released today by the Empire Center for Public Policy.
With the state facing its grimmest budget outlook in years, the legislative session shows signs of becoming a tug-of-war between public schools and health care—the two biggest recipients of state spending and, not coincidentally, the two heaviest-hitting lobbying forces Albany.
New York's second largest public pension fund continues to move—at a glacial pace—towards a more reasonable and prudent assumption of its future investment earnings.
The Smart Schools grant-making process has been sluggish and haphazard, reflecting the program’s overly broad standards and goals.
Besides having the country's highest per-pupil PreK-12 spending, every New York school district spent more than the national average on a per-pupil basis.