Solving the Fiscal Crisis for Schools, Taxpayers

    New York schools provide vital programs and services to students and families throughout the state. State legislators and the Board of Regents often prescribe how these services should or can be provided through the passage of laws, regulations and guidelines, generally referred to as “mandates.” Unfortunately, these state mandates have created an environment of unsustainable rising costs for public schools. 
    How do mandates affect education?
    Mandates are designed to help students by requiring greater accountability, by improving the quality of education and/or the educational environment, and by serving the interests of all students or specific student populations. Here are just a few examples:  
    How are mandates causing a crisis for schools and taxpayers?
    New mandates often come unfunded or underfunded, meaning districts must reduce non-mandated programs and services or pass on the cost to local taxpayers. Of the 151 mandates that “represent the greatest challenges to districts in terms of financial burden and required time,” 69 percent came with no funding. (source: www.p12.nysed.gov/fmis/mandaterelief)
    Almost every report released on the topic has outlined a series of recommendations on how to achieve mandate relief, but very few of the proposals have actually been enacted. In fact, the Legislature, governor, Board of Regents and the federal government regularly enact new mandates that districts must follow.