Finance Facts and Figures
The Statewide School Finance Consortium has provided a compelling body of evidence that the current state budget sacrifices equity. The rich districts maintain what they have, the poor get poorer and those in the middle are squeezed. Even without more money, the basic foundation aid formula should be updated to address inequities that hurt low-income districts, compounding the effects of poverty.
BOCES aid should be targeted to regionalize New York's public education system to improve achievement and enhance economy, efficiency and equity. Let's free BOCES to become more entrepreneurial, allowing the sale and licensure of their considerable intellectual property, programs and services to school districts throughout the country. Other states already do so.
Without additional revenue, we must wring excessive costs out of the system. Addressing the Business Council of New York State recently, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy asked for a list of business regulations that need reform. Superintendents and school boards should also be asked for a list of education regulations that need reform and can save money.
Actuarial data should be used to determine agency payments to the Employees and Teachers Retirement System with a plan to mitigate the widely variable swings in contribution rates. An even rate of contribution is much easier to plan for and deal with that the sudden increases we are currently dealing with.