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99% of New York State School Budgets Adopted

NYSCUT has announced that with 566 school districts reporting, voters adoped 558 school budgets and defeated just eight, for a pass rate of 99 percent. In 2014 98.2 percent of the budgets passed, and in 2013 the passage rate was 95.3 percent.

NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said a $1.3billion state aid increase is enabling school districts in some parts of the state to begin restoring programs and staff, but the increase still was not enough to overcome the impact of many years of state aid cuts imposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Meanwhile, he said, the undemocratic tax cap is denying communities local control over their schools and could allow a minority of voters to dictate spending levels against the wishes of the majority. Just 19 districts even attempted over-rides on Tuesday, with 12 succeeding.

Local taxpayers should be able to decide —without interference from Albany — how much they want to invest in programs for their own childrenin their own public schools,” Pallotta said. “Thetax cap unfairly robs them of that choice while  permitting 40 percent of the community to        undemocratically dictate school spending.

According to data contained in Property Tax Report Cards, school districts, on average, proposed budgets for 2015-16 that contain a 1.83 percent spending increase, below last year’s 2.63 percent. Tax levy increases in school budgets averaged 1.48 percent, below last year’s 1.98 percent and below the average tax levy for at least the previous eight years.

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