While InBloom and 3rd party vendors eagerly await the chance to line their pockets off the backs of public school students, many districts across the state face fiscal insolvency and are struggling to stay afloat with no hope in sight.
NYSED has made it clear that they are not planning to launch life boats nor are they willing to provide any floatation device to schools that are sinking under the weight of muck and mire.
Are New York schools still waiting for Superman?
It is not lost on me that many schools may view participation in RTT and InBloom as the lesser of two evils.
Which begs the question, are some districts simply willing to sell out students by permitting NYSED to share and sell student information if it means keeping the RTT award and thus saving themselves?
What State aid is available?
How is it calculated?
But at what cost?
Some New York school leaders say it’s a matter of years—as little as two or four—before they’ll no longer be able to survive financially or fulfill state and federally mandated course requirements.
According to the results of a statewide survey by the state Council of School Superintendents, 41 percent of leaders polled said they expect their districts to be financially insolvent within four years. Nine percent said they’d reach that condition in two.
More than half—51 percent—of leaders expect to reach educational insolvency, where they won’t be able to afford mandates for instruction and student services, within four years. Eighteen percent said they’ll get there in two years.
Forty-three percent of small-city superintendents describe their districts’ financial condition as “poor” or “very poor.”
“The challenge school district leaders face is not just balancing budgets, but improving educational outcomes and providing students with the learning needed to excel in the real world,” said Robert Reidy, the council’s executive director said in a statement. “But under current state educational policies, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to do both. We’re being forced to cut staff and eliminate programs and this has an inevitable impact on learning.”
The survey was conducted in August and September 2012. A total of 249 superintendents submitted complete responses. Incomplete submissions from 47 superintendents were also included in the results. There are roughly 700 districts in the state.
Superintendents serving the “Big Five”—New York, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, and Syracuse—and the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) were not included in the survey because their systems’ budgets are not subject to voter approval. As a result, those cities do not report some of the financial data that is available for small city, rural and suburban districts.
The Insolvency report below looks at the financial state of school districts and discusses the bleak future for districts headed towards insolvency. NYSEDs primer for State Aid and web link to State Aid are also provided: