JOE ROBACH ANNOUNCES AWARDS FOR COMPETITIVE EDUCATION GRANTS TO FOUR DISTRICTS, INCLUDING THE ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, THAT FOUND EFFICIENCY SAVINGS AND CAN SERVE AS MODELS TO OTHER DISTRICTS

Joe Robach is pleased to share that four model education school districts that were able to find more than $21 million in efficiency savings, have been awarded more than $12 million over three years as part of the Governor’s competitive education grants program. One of the districts awarded is the Rochester City School District.

The competitive education grants for management efficiency rewards school districts that have implemented innovative strategies to improve the overall efficiency of school district management, while maintaining or improving student achievement. School districts across the state were invited to apply for a grant by demonstrating innovative cost-savings that were implemented in their districts.

Over the past two years, the state has increased State Education Aid by 8.6% (a 4.2% increase in the 2012-2013 school year, and a 4.4 increase in the 2013-2014 school year for a total of $1.7B). Statewide increases in school spending, State support for education, and school property taxes have far outpaced the rate of inflation over the last ten years. New York public schools spend more per pupil ($18,618) than any other state and 76 percent above the national average. However, New York’s high education spending has not translated into equally high student performance.

Four school districts won this competitive education grant for management efficiency – these districts achieved a total of $21,770,300 efficiency savings and were awarded a total of $12,261,261 from the state.

Joe Robach is happy to announce that a local education district will be receiving some proceeds of the competitive grant. The Rochester City School District was awarded $4,500,000 over 3 years for identifying a total of $9,544,293 in eligible cost-savings. This was accomplished by:

· An overall reduction in the Contractual Services contained in the Chief of Schools and
· Maintenance of Plant budget categories;
· Utilization of internal resources and expertise to support professional development for district staff;
· Consolidation of Central Office Support Staff achieved through attrition and reorganization; and
· Verification of Dependent benefits related to the district’s health insurance program.

Public education in New York represents a significant commitment of State and local resources. With total spending levels exceeding $58 billion, New Yorkers have maintained the highest per-pupil spending levels in the nation – even in these difficult financial times. Not only is education the largest area of State spending, it is also the largest component of local property taxes. This substantial investment is a reflection of New York State’s long-standing commitment to providing opportunity for all students. Although New York makes significant financial investments in education (per pupil spending is the highest among states), New York lags behind in graduation rates. Only 74 percent of our students graduate from high school and only 35 percent are college or career ready. Recognizing that a prosperous future for the State is dependent upon the quality of public education, the 2013-14 Executive Budget continues the work of building an education system that ensures every child has an opportunity for a sound, basic education, and that all of our children are educated in schools with excellent teachers and leaders, who are accountable for student success.

For more education information, contact the Office of Joe Robach.