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January 2012 

Vol. 1, Issue 4

 Manhattanville 2012 group

  Across the Board

             A Publication of WPSBA

Join the Discussion...

Budgeting Under the New Normal 

     Preparation is well underway to prepare the 2012-2013 budget with the tax levy cap.  New information about the state aid picture continues to arrive in bits and pieces, and business officials are looking deep into the budget line items for areas to cut.
     All of our districts have spent the past three years making cuts "as far away from the children as possible" in order to deliver budgets to our communities that were responsive to the ailing economy.  Sadly, the things we trimmed or deferred are not going to be enough tkendallo bring districts under the tax levy limit.
     There are many questions to be answered: When should you go for an override?  What cuts is your district proposing to comply with the tax levy limit? Is your district at the point of cutting sports teams, decreasing AP offerings, raising class size, eliminating band or art electives?  What is your district's reserve picture and how can you deploy reserves without falling off a cliff?  What happens on a "rainy day" when the undesignated fund is empty?
     These are but a few of the serious issues each district will be tackling. You will have an opportunity at the February 9th WPSBA Dine & Network at SW BOCES (Valhalla Career Center) to share ideas on "Budgeting in the New Normal."   These informative and engaging table conversations will help you gain a regional perspective.  Armed with this information, we will need to educate our constituents about the budgeting realities, so that they too can communicate to Albany how these cuts will affect our children. Let's be frank, board members have always been unpaid "lobbyists" for New York's children. Every child not only deserves, but has a state constitutional right to a quality public education.          

Kendall Egan

WPSBA President 

In This Issue
- From the President
- Upcoming Events
- Mandate Relief Action
- Transitions Conference
- Mapping it Out

Quick Links

 

 

 

Meeting with State Legislators

 

WPSBA is setting up local meetings with our individual state legilators to discuss the proposed budget and mandate relief priorities.  Board members and superintendents will be invited to come to the meetings armed with data on the impact on their district.  Watch for emails.  See more (below) on WPSBA Legislative Priorities for 2012. 

 

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Dine & Network: Budgeting Under the New Normal...A Regional Conversation

Thursday, February 9th from 6:30 pm to 9 pm

SW Westchester BOCES, Career Services, Bldg I, 65 Grasslands Rd., Valhalla, NY

Fee Event.  Please register through your district clerk

Enjoy an evening of dinner and dialogue as you share thoughts with fellow board members and superintendents on the following topics: The View from the Field: Potential Cuts to Program and Staff; Community Outreach and Messaging: Best Practices and Lessons Learned; Use of Reserve Funds: Incorporating a Multi-Year Tax Levy and Capital Needs Planning Process into the District Psyche; Short and Long Term Implications; and To Override or Not to Override.

 

WPSBA Forum with State Legislators

Thursday, March 8 from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Location TBD

To register, click here.

Do you ever wish you could speak to all of our state legislators at one time?  This is your opportunity.  Gather up your data and statistics, and join our legislators for an open and frank conversation about the budgeting and mandate relief issues facing our school districts under the tax  levy limit and the very real impact they have on the education of our children.

 

In case you missed it...

If you missed any of our programs, please visit the WPSBA website to view the presentation  materials.  

  Latest Happenings

priority

      

Take Action on Mandate Relief

      

     The 2012 WPSBA Legislative Priorities is drafted and ready for action. We urge board members to review our advocacy priorities, many of which parallel the mandate relief proposals from the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents (LHCSS--our regional superintendents association) the NYSSBA Fiscal Reform Playbook, and the Let NY Work platform.  While some data has already been gathered to support these mandate relief proposals, each district should compile its own data to illustrate how these mandates impact their expenditure lines and direct money away from the classroom. We encourage you to visit the Mandate Relief Issues page on the WPSBA website, which is a repository for the documents referenced above, as well as other background information and data. (If you have information which you think would be useful to share, please forward it to Marguerite at info@wpsba.org for posting on the website).
     WPSBA has also been talking up a hitherto little noticed clause in the June 2011 Tax Levy Cap legislation under Article 24, Executive Law 666. This article not only establishes a Mandate Relief Council which must operate within prescribed guidelines and a set timeline, but also enumerates a process for school districts and other local governments to submit up to three (3) mandates per year for review by the Council. Each mandate submitted must conform to the definition of a mandate in the statute. In an effort to expedite this process, WPSBA has drafted a Mandate Relief Resolution for school districts to approve at a public meeting as a starting point for submitting each request to the Council. The relevant section of Article 24, Executive Law 666 is inserted below for quick reference:

 

5. LOCAL GOVERNMENT REQUEST.  TO DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH STATUTE, REGULATION, RULE OR ORDER OF STATE GOVERNMENT IS AN UNFUNDED MANDATE OR IS OTHERWISE UNSOUND, UNDULY BURDENSOME OR COSTLY SO AS TO REQUIRE THAT IT BE ELIMINATED OR REFORMED. NO LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAY MAKE MORE THAN THREE SUCH REQUESTS IN EACH CALENDAR YEAR. UPON SUCH REVIEW, THE COUNCIL SHALL, BY MAJORITY VOTE, DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH MANDATE HAS BEEN IMPOSED UPON SUCH LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN AN UNSOUND, UNDULY BURDENSOME OR COSTLY MANNER, SO AS TO NECESSITATE THAT IT BE ELIMINATED OR REFORMED.  A DETERMINATION OF THE COUNCIL SHALL RESOLVE ANY DISPUTE REGARDING WHETHER SUCH A STATUTE, REGULATION, RULE OR ORDER CONSTITUTES SUCH AN UNFUNDED MANDATE, BUT SHALL NOT BE DEEMED A JUDICIAL DETERMINATION UNDER THE LAW.

A LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAY, BY RESOLUTION OF ITS GOVERNING BODY, ASK THE COUNCIL TO REVIEW A SPECIFIC STATUTE, REGULATION, RULE OR ORDER OF STATE GOVERNMENT


     WPSBA will be working both locally and with NYSSBA and other regional school board associations across the state to encourage each school district to submit three mandates this year.  What a statement it would make if all districts submitted repeal of the 1982 Triborough Amendment legislation (freezing step increases when no contract is in place), repealing the 2000 legislation that revoked the 3% employee pension contribution for those in Tiers IV and V with over 10 years of service, or amending the Last In, First Out (LIFO) provision of Education law (seniority as the sole basis for staff layoffs).  There are also several onerous transportation and special education mandates that districts may opt to put before the Council as their third mandate. These and other "unsound, unduly burdensome or costly" mandates are outlined in the WPSBA, LHCSS, and the other mandate relief position papers referenced above. We believe that a groundswell of local resolutions will draw attention to the severity of the problem,  and lead to legislative action, particularly if multiple school districts submit resolutions for the same mandates en masse. 

 

  Transitions Conference 2012

Preparing Students to Succeed Beyond High School

 

     Manhattanville 2012

Reid Castle on the Manhattanville College campus was the setting for the January 11th WPSBA-Manhattanville College Post-High School Transitions Conference: "Preparing Students to Succeed in College -  Skills and Solutions for the 21st Century."  Workshops were well-attended and covered topics ranging from Educating the Whole Child to Dual Enrollment Programs: A Model for School-College Collaborations.  Dr. Roger Martin, former college president and author delivered the keynote address, "From High School to College: Five Transitional issues that Should Concern Us."  And several area principals and guidance chairs, lent their expertise leading several of the workshops.   

             saul   manattanville 2012 kaishian

            Manhattanville 2012 HardyManhattanville guidance 2012  

Find Your District Data on the Map...

 

Thanks to the accountability movement, today's educational landscape is awash in public data. Bmaput without adequate tools, much of the potential value goes unrealized. SchoolMeter.com, a web service designed by a former school board member, is helping districts make more effective use of this data.


While SchoolMeter.com provides a subscription-based service for school districts, they also offer a set of free interactive maps. These online maps are easy-to-use, yet packed with information of use to school boards. Visit SchoolMeter.com for links to the latest maps. The current set includes:

 

1. ELA / Math Performance: Grade 3-8 ELA and Math scores dating back to 2006. This map includes 2010-11 data by free and reduced lunch rates and 2009-10 school year data by student subgroup.
2. Tax Cap:Six years of initial budget vote results including a count of budgets since 2006 with more than 60% in favor on first vote and a count of budgets since 2006 approved on the first vote.
3. 2012-13 Exec. Budget Proposed Change in Total State Aid: Proposed change in total state aid in the executive budget. Click on a district to get a link to the NYSED State Aid page.
4. Graduation Rates: Graduation rates are displayed for the 2006 cohort (2010 graduates).


More information is available in the "quick start guide" that accompanies each map. If you have questions or suggestions for additional maps, email info@schoolmeter.com.


A link to these, and any future, data maps is on the WPSBA website for your reference.