ALBANY N.Y. – Taxpayers in school districts across the state are heading to the polls to vote “yes” or “no” on their respective budgets.
According to a survey conducted by the New York State School Boards Association, a majority of school districts expect to avoid layoffs for teachers and staff based on their budgets for next year. This may be because schools are finally gaining ground after steep cuts in previous years.
“We found that through our survey 80-percent of the school districts will be making no layoffs whatsoever,” said Tim Kremer, Executive Director of the School Boards Association.
The North Colonie School District lost over $14 million dollars in state funding in the last four years. However, the superintendent says his district was fortunate to have other state funding to offset the gap and hasn’t had to layoff teachers.
“We’ve been able to maintain programs, reconfigure programs and enhance some programs,” said North Colonie Superintendent Joseph Corr.
About 65-percent of schools plan to share services with other districts to save money.
Kremer says schools understand the new economic reality of living within a tax cap and are beginning to manage costs in areas like transportation and shared use of buildings.
North Colonie is one of the school districts which plans to share services with neighboring districts, particularly with bus services.
Taxpayers are also electing school board members Tuesday. Main issues among candidates are Common Core standards, teacher evaluations, and charter schools.