School Spending and Proposed Taxes are Contained as School Districts Draw on Savings

23 Districts Attempt Override

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ALBANY, NY (05/19/2014)(readMedia)-- The New York State Association of School Business Officials (NYSASBO) analyzed property tax report card data submitted recently by school districts to the State Education Department.

The data submitted by 669 school districts shows several key trends:

• Public school enrollment has declined every year for the past six years.

• Proposed levies for 2014-15 averaged 1.8%, the smallest increase in six years.

• School District Unassigned Fund Balances declined 9% from last year.

• 23 school districts (3%) proposed override compared to 28 last year.

• Average need school districts proposed the largest levy increase.

"The data shows a correlation between the imposition of the Tax Cap and proposed school levies, but less of an impact on school spending. Since school spending is driven by state mandates, school districts spent down their reserves or cut staff to maintain their required commitments," explained Michael J. Borges, NYSASBO Executive Director.

"Thanks to a $1.1 billion increase in school aid this year, many school districts were spared further reductions in staff and the quality of their educational offerings. However, average need school districts, due to their lower state aid and limited tax bases, still continue to struggle to make ends meet. While our public policy concern rightly rests with high need school districts, many average need school districts are attempting to comply with expensive state mandates despite being small and having limited ability to raise resources locally."