March 2, 2010
RE: AN ACT to amend the education
law, in relation to the streamlining
planning and reporting requirements for
school districts and boards of cooperative
S. 3874-A Oppenheimer
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
Unshackle Upstate, a bi-partisan coalition of over 70+ business and trade organizations
representing a growing group of 45,000 companies and employing more than 1 million people
support the enactment of the aforementioned bill. This legislation would significantly amend the
state’s education law by streamlining many of the current reporting requirements and repealing
many unnecessary and duplicative sections of current law.
Specifically, this bill would provide the Commissioner of Education the responsibility to reduce
the amount of paperwork that is generated by school districts and boards of cooperative
educational services (BOCES) and charter schools by allowing certain reporting requirements and
plans submitted to the Department of Education to be posted on their websites. In addition, the
bill requires the Commissioner to streamline the current reporting requirements for school
districts and BOCES, by conforming state reporting and planning requirements to federal
requirements and for the Commissioner to identify best practices in this area.
Unshackle Upstate has been a major proponent of the implementation of many of the findings
from the New York State Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness or
Lundine Commission. Specifically, our organization supports and is advocating for immediate
action on some of the Commission’s findings such as: a plan for school district consolidation;
regional collective bargaining thru BOCES; and, the consolidation of non-instructional items,
such as HR and purchasing, through BOCES.
Property Taxes in this state continue to be a major cause of concern. New York has the highest
local taxes in America, at 78% above the national average and property tax levies are rising at
more than twice the rate of inflation and salary growth. Some of the measures included within
this bill are good first steps in correcting New York State’s property tax burden and enactment of
this legislation would send the right message to homeowners across the state that the elected
officials in Albany are determined to alleviate a long-overdue problem.
Any bill that seeks to eliminate some of the burdens that school districts, BOCES and charter
schools face should be advocated for and implemented. Our state continues to face significant fiscal strife and creative ways to save the education system money should continually be
For these reasons, Unshackle Upstate supports the enactment of this legislation.