From the Finger Lakes region, Watkins Glen Looks For Input:
Phillips says two ways to close the gap are almost guaranteed. One is a consolidation of schools to one main campus. The other, laying off employees.I'm not sure I see how consolidation will avoid the layoffs, unless he means that the state incentives provide enough money to keep paying the same salaries for a while.
Phillips said, “If things do not change in spite of the governors claim that this is a game and education is simply threatening, this is not a game and this is real. Eleven people in this district, instructors, teachers, will not be employed in Watkins Glen next year.
Near them, in Auburn, Jordan-Elbridge school district’s budget situation called ‘severe’:
The proposed budget is currently $27,596,582, a 4.7 percent increase over the current budget, he said. The current projected tax levy increase is 7.3 percent, but Zacher stressed that cuts can still be made to lessen this amount. Included in the proposal is the elimination of 29.7 staff positions. Of these, 26.7 are teaching and non-instructional support and three are administrative,...
And big districts get hit too, as in Proposed Rochester schools budget would cut 900 jobs
The city school system could lose 900 jobs — about 15 percent of its workforce — if a budget unveiled by Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard wins approval from the school board.
The job losses come as the district looks to bridge one of the largest budget shortfalls in recent memory, with administrators planning for an $80 million deficit as expenses continue to rise and funding sources dwindle. The 2011-12 proposed budget of $678 million is down from $708 million for this year.
New Jersey news includes Red Bank Board of Education OKs tentative $19.33M budget:
The district was spared the 14 personnel cuts that had to be made in the current budget, predicated by a loss of state aid. Staff cuts that were made for 2011-12 were absorbed by attrition, Morana said. The proposed budget came with other reductions, such as putting off a new roof on the primary school, repainting ...Also cut or reduced were middle school sports — which a nonprofit foundation has formed to raise funds for — computer, technology and music supplies; replacement classroom furniture; and student assemblies and field trips.NJ also produces a pro-consolidation editorial from Asbury Park, at It shouldn't be all about the money:
It's past time to test the hypothesis that school district consolidation would save money and raise test scores of the disadvantaged. With regionalization, there would be enough money and resources to absorb students stranded in historically underachieving districts.
And there's a pro-consolidation note struck in Michigan under Opposing points of view: School district consolidation provides efficiencies to help cope with funding cuts
The economic situation in Michigan is forcing school districts to consider multiple approaches to more efficient use of their funds. The rising cost of fuel, food and health services, as well as student support services such as special education teachers, school psychologists, counselors and nurses, make it very difficult for small districts to afford.
New York also has a pro-consolidation editorial from the Gotham Gazette, at New York Needs Real Reform, Not Higher Taxes
New York's two biggest areas of spending are Medicaid and education.... New York's Medicaid program has the most generous eligibility standards in the nation and provides patients with "Cadillac" health care plans. It also ... This is why our Medicaid costs are double the national average. ...
When it comes to education, 21 percent of the $52 billion state school budget goes for non-instructional purposes. The state has far too many local school districts, each insisting on running its own transportation system and maintaining a gaggle of administrative employees, consultants and turf prerogatives. New York's education spending is 67 percent higher than the national average, without a commensurate advantage in student outcomes. Districts resist consolidation, but their parochial concerns should not trump taxpayer interests.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Maine says Post Posts: Arundel company among stops on governor’s tour
“I feel bad for teachers and state employees. You’ve been sold a bill of goods.”
LePage said teachers and state employees were “promised the Brooklyn Bridge.”
“The promises made were so rich the state could never afford it,” he said
LePage said Democrats caused the pension shortfall with support from teachers’ unions... LePage said he supports allowing Mainers to purchase health insurance across state lines and buy insurance plans to cover specific issues.
“I could never understand why a nun in the state of Maine is required to buy maternity insurance,” he said.
When asked by Brett Davis of Hollis Center about school choice and vouchers, Commissioner of Education Bowen said both he and LePage “are moving in the direction of school choice.” He said they also want to change the school consolidation law. He said there are savings to be had by consolidating some services, but the “one-size-fits-all model” does not work for Maine.
And what can you do? Well, you can write letters, as reported from Syracuse lately in Letter-writers raise concerns about Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York state budget. Some of the letters that get out there are really, umm, interesting, e.g. Watertown Daily Times | Change procedures for voting on school budget
Grossly inflated school budgets have prevailed for decades, mostly to meet the requirements of liberal contracts negotiated between powerful and greedy public service employee unions (notice that I said unions) and state politicians. Any excuse to increase the size of local budgets routinely prevails with minimal, if any, benefit to the educational process. Unbridled power of these unions...Well, I think a lot of people feel that way; it's not just him and the Governor of Maine. Sometimes officials write letters too, as reported in Local Democrats from across New York attack Governor Cuomo's budget cuts
ALBANY -- More than 40 elected Democrats -- all local officials -- made a rare attack on Gov. Cuomo and his proposed cuts to education and health care as the state tries to trim a $10 billion budget deficit, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press.
I'm not sure the letter-writing on any side does any good, but then, here I am collecting links. Does that do any good? Probably not.
Update:The budget in question has actually passed, --- and I moved this section to be its own post.