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Word of the Month for July - Cooperation



August 4, 2014

Board of Education Meeting
Golding Middle School Library at 7:00 p.m.



Oct. 4, 2011

Mandate relief measures and the tax “cap”

budget logo (c) dreamstimeA significant portion of the Cobleskill-Richmondville school budget includes unfunded state and federal mandates to which the district must adhere.

The tax “cap” legislation was approved with a package of changes intended to control school districts and local governments spending. These included the creation of a Mandate Relief Council to curb some of the laws and regulations that lead to escalating expenses for school districts and local government.

In a press release, the New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said that the package of mandate relief would “save” the state’s school districts $34.6 million. These savings are just a fraction of the $1.3 billion loss of state aid New York’s districts are seeing in the 2011-12 school year under the enacted state budget.

“We appreciate any mandate relief,” Superintendent Lynn Macan said. “It’s a start, but we need so much more meaningful relief in order to make any sizeable impact on school district budget ‘drivers.’”

The new mandate relief measures include:

• MANDATE RELIEF COUNCIL: This 11-member council will determine if a statute or regulation is unsound, unduly burdensome, or costly; establish procedures for repealing unfunded mandates in both statute and regulation; provide a procedure for direct appeals from school districts and other local governments on mandates; and require the state Comptroller to issue a detailed report on the cost and effect of unfunded mandates.

• STUDENT TRANSPORTATION: The new law allows districts to base bus routes on patterns of ridership instead of having a seat for every potential rider.

• COOPERATIVE PURCHASING: The new law allows school districts greater flexibility in cooperative purchasing with other districts, and state and federal contracts. While this may lead to better deals on some goods and services, C-RCS already participates in several competitive/joint purchasing, as well as BOCES cooperative biding service.

• SHARING SUPERINTENDENTS: The new law also allows up to three districts with less than 1,000 students to share a superintendent. This does not apply to C-RCS, given its total enrollment of about 1,900 students.

• ENERGY PURCHASING: The new law also authorizes the Office of General Services to provide centralized electricity purchases for schools. Cobleskill-Richmondville has participated in an energy purchase consortium for years before the new law was enacted.

• PRE-K CENSUS: Districts need only complete the Pre-K census every two years, rather than every year.

As always, parents, staff, students and taxpayers are urged to voice their opinions on these matters to our elected leaders. Click here for elected leaders' contact information.

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