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News stories tagged with "ncsymposium13"

Voter, 2012. Photo: Julie Grant
Voter, 2012. Photo: Julie Grant

Most School Budgets Expected to Pass

Voters in New York go to the polls on Tuesday, May 21 to approve new school budgets. The State School Boards Association finds that many school districts are living within the limits imposed by a property tax cap enacted two years ago.

The School Board Association's Tim Kremer says a survey of the state's school districts finds that the vast majority are budgeting within the strictures of the tax cap, and as a result, 93 percent expect their budgets to be approved by voters.  Go to full article
Banford Elementary School in Canton. Photo: Canton Central School
Banford Elementary School in Canton. Photo: Canton Central School

North Country schools face uncharted ground

Many North Country school districts are facing uncharted territory. They're going bankrupt, and at the same time have more mandates to fulfill.

The annual North Country Symposium is focused on the state of education, and how it's affecting the rest of the community. Keynote speaker John Sipple is director of the New York Center for Rural Schools at Cornell University.

He says there are no easy answers, and that the schools are inextricably intertwined with the community - they rise and fall together.  Go to full article
"Report Card," artist:<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/45128746@N04/8225894773/"<br />>Regina Holliday</a>, CC some rights reserved<br />
"Report Card," artist:>Regina Holliday, CC some rights reserved

North Country schools get high marks

An education advocacy group has issued report cards to schools across New York, and the North Country had some high marks for student performance.

Abraham Wing Elementary school in the Glens Falls area ranked first in the state for student performance among low income districts. Voters in Abraham Wing recently voted no on a proposal to merge with Glens Falls Central School.

No middle or high schools from the region were among the top 10 in their categories. But many North Country high schools received a mark of "A" for student performance.  Go to full article
Beekmantown High School Principal Diane Fox will take over July 1 as the next superintendent of the Saranac Lake Central School District. Photo: Chris Knight, via <a href="http://adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/536215/Meet-Diane-Fox.html?nav=5008">Adirondack Daily Enterprise</a>
Beekmantown High School Principal Diane Fox will take over July 1 as the next superintendent of the Saranac Lake Central School District. Photo: Chris Knight, via Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Incoming SL school super: the problem is money

Many school districts in the North Country face cutting staff and programming in order to trim their budgets and stay under the state's property tax cap. Some are showing signs of serious financial stress.

Just last month, Tupper Lake School District leaders said the district could become insolvent and may have to close its doors in a few years unless it gets more state aid.

Neighboring Saranac Lake Central is struggling to find a way to preserve its core programs while closing a more than $1 million budget gap.

The district recently hired a new superintendent, Diane Fox, who said working within its budget constraints will be her biggest challenge.  Go to full article
Image: newyorkstatesearch.com
Image: newyorkstatesearch.com

North Country population shifts dramatically

Late last week the US Census released new population numbers and the data for the North Country caught the eye of Brian Mann, our Adirondack bureau chief.

He's been blogging about the fact that a number of counties here in the region continue to lose population at a troubling rate.

And then there's Jefferson County, around Fort Drum, which is one of the fastest growing parts of New York state. Brian spoke with Martha Foley about the shift.  Go to full article
Students from LP Quinn Elementary School in Tupper Lake learning to tap maple trees. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewildcenter/6816212070/">The WIld Center</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
Students from LP Quinn Elementary School in Tupper Lake learning to tap maple trees. Photo: The WIld Center, CC some rights reserved

Tupper school finances at a tipping point

School districts across the North Country have been closely following state budget negotiations in Albany, hoping a budget deal will lead to a bigger increase in aid than proposed in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's original budget.

Officials at one school district in Franklin County said this week that they've reached a financial tipping point. Tupper Lake School leaders said the district may be headed for insolvency, and may have to close the doors in a few years without more state aid.  Go to full article

How will rural schools fare under new NYS budget?

State Senator Betty Little says she's keeping an eye on three big issues in the final hours of budget talks in Albany: Aid for cash-strapped rural schools, the minimum wage hike, and the planned closure of at least two state prisons in New York.  Go to full article

Three St. Lawrence County schools consider merger

Voters in a small southern Adirondack school district Wednesday rejected a proposal to merge with the Glens Falls City School District. The Glens Falls Post Star reports that voters in the Abraham Wing School didn't like the idea because it would have raised their property taxes.

The state is encouraging small, rural schools like this to merge. If Abraham Wing voters had said yes, the state would have given the merged district an extra $27 million over 14 years.

Meanwhile, three St. Lawrence County districts are looking at forming some kind of partnership, possibly a merger or a regional high school. They want to save money, while improving the student experience. Heuvelton, Hermon-DeKalb and Morristown Central Schools have chipped in for a $30,000 study.

Philip Martin is the former superintendent of Fayetteville-Manlius Central. He's doing the study, and has been presenting what he's found so far in the three communities.  Go to full article
The New York State Senate chamber. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/-jvl-/5194328403/">JvL</a> CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
The New York State Senate chamber. Photo: JvL CC some rights reserved

Upstate Senators: Poor, rural schools need more state aid

Eighteen senators from Upstate New York have sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, asking him to make his school aid more fair to the low-wealth school districts they represent.  Go to full article
NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi speaks to reporters in Albany about the case. Photo: El-Wise Noisette via NYSUT.org
NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi speaks to reporters in Albany about the case. Photo: El-Wise Noisette via NYSUT.org

Why a NYS teachers' union is suing the state

The state's largest teachers union has filed a lawsuit against the state's property tax cap, arguing it's unconstitutional.

New York State United Teachers President Dick Iannuzzi says the cap, passed by Cuomo and the legislature in 2011, arbitrarily limits property tax increase to two percent, regardless of whether a school district is rich or poor. The lawsuit also charges that the tax cap violates the principle of one person one vote, because a supermajority of 60 percent of voters is required to override the cap.  Go to full article

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