Politics As Usual?
How many voters know how legislation is developed, proposed, advanced and passed into law? Who understands the dynamics of governing? Who takes time to actually pay attention to those who make our laws and direct our lives? How many of us really understand what's going on in government?
What do we know about how our cars are produced? How much can we understand about development, manufacturing and servicing of our appliances or TVs; the construction of our bridges and office buildings; the processing of our food products; etc.? The answer is easy. We understand little to nothing of such matters which affect our lives.
However, there is a difference between government and private products? We can choose to buy expensive cars. Or we can also choose not to. What choice are we given with schools? How much can we negotiate the price of property taxes? Legislated mandates reduce choice. So do laws that limit or prohibit. These make you do things you would not want to do if you were free and had a choice.
The notion of ‘home rule’ has become a sham. More than 90 percent of the county budget is mandated spending; in other words, county legislators do not get to cut, trim or reduce them in any way. Neither can school boards. Local governing bodies have been regulated. They need to be liberated.
“Because time after time Albany’s “powers that be” have, for short-term political advantage, forced mandates without regard to potential consequences, New York’s local governments and school districts are on the edge of a fiscal abyss.”
Whenever Albany tells local governments to do something – start a program, provide a service, meet a perceived need – and doesn’t provide any funding, that constitutes an “unfunded mandate.” New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) indicated that for many counties, these mandates consume well over 100 percent of their tax levy.
Ten mandates from Albany are big headaches for localities (Click here)
School District Mandates:
In the most simple terms, mandates are laws. And in public education just about everything is mandated.
Broadalbin-Perth, from which comes much of the information on this page, is one of almost 700 school districts in New York.
Federal or state mandates dictate nearly 90% of the spending in Broadalbin-Perth’s budget. Nearly everything that’s taught in public schools is mandated. At Broadalbin-Perth, most of the district’s academic program is mandated. The only academic programs B-P offers that are not mandated are pre-K and kindergarten. Those two programs are not required under New York State law.
In New York State, four sets of mandates have the largest impact on school budgets (Click here).
- It's NOT Politics as Usual -