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Public Statements

Governor Cuomo Awards Competitive Education Grants to Twelve Districts That Found More Than $9 Million in Efficiency Savings and Can Serve as Models to Other Districts

Press Release

By:
Date:
Location: Albany, NY

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today awarded 12 model school districts one-time grants totaling $9 million for finding more than $9 million in permanent efficiency savings in their districts. The $9 million awards will be over three years as part of the Governor's competitive education grants program.

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. These schools found efficiencies and savings in their district operations, in areas such as transportation, maintenance staff, and administrative support. As models, these districts will provide roadmaps to other districts for how to contain escalating costs that continue to grow every year.

"Our education system must become more efficient and direct spending away from the bureaucracy into the classroom," said Governor Cuomo. "The twelve districts we are awarding today stand out as leading examples and will serve as models for other districts across the state. I applaud their achievement."

Over the past two years, Governor Cuomo 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 decade. 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.

The following twelve school districts were awarded the Governor's competitive education grants for management efficiency -- these districts achieved a total of $9,972,778 in efficiency savings and were awarded a total of $9,122,538 from the State.

Middletown City School District

Superintendent Kenneth Eastwood

The Middletown City School District was awarded $545,565 over 3 years for identifying a total of $519,583 in eligible cost-savings. This was accomplished by:

Creating a first-in-the-nation self-service Kindergarten through 12th grade public school library check out program, which allowed the district to reorganize administrative support and reduce the need for ten full time positions, while ensuring quality programs remain in place.

Evans-Brant (Lake Shore) Central School District

Superintendent James Przepasniak

The Lake Shore School District was awarded $800,475 over 3 years for identifying a total of $889,416 in eligible cost-savings. This was accomplished by:

Consolidating and reducing central office administrative responsibilities and positions; and
Achieving district-wide energy savings through an Energy Management Initiative with the installation of motion sensors and replacement of lighting and efficiencies in building capacity and consolidation;
Efficiencies in building capacity and consolidation; and
Reducing transportation costs by reorganizing bus routes (reduction of 8 full time bus routes).

Broadalbin-Perth Central School District

Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson

The Broadalbin-Perth Central School District was awarded $525,831 over 3 years for identifying a total of $584,257 in eligible cost-savings. This was accomplished by:

Reducing transportation expenses, including eliminating a bus route and associated administrative and maintenance costs;
Revising the district's health insurance plan and adopting a lower cost health insurance plan for teachers and retirees; and
An overall reduction in district energy use.

Rush-Henrietta Central School District

Superintendent Kenneth Graham

The Rush-Henrietta Central School District was awarded $1,945,389 over 3 years for identifying a total of $2,161,543 in eligible cost-savings. This was accomplished by:

Consolidating central office administrative responsibilities and positions; and
Consolidating district printers into a single contract;
Revising the district's health insurance plan as well as the contract for maintenance staff;
Achieving district-wide energy savings through revising services.

Williamsville Central School District

Superintendent Scott Martzloff

The Williamsville Central School District was awarded $629,904 over 3 years for identifying a total of $699,894 in eligible cost-savings. This was accomplished by:

Reducing transportation costs by reorganizing bus routes (eliminated need for 2 buses);
Reducing maintenance and fuel efficiencies and streamlining maintenance schedules; and
Introducing the use of GPS to monitor routes.

Cheektowaga Central School District

Superintendent Dennis Kane

The Cheektowaga Central School District was awarded $146,361 over three years for identifying a total of $162,623 in eligible cost-savings. This was accomplished by:

Consolidating central office administrative responsibilities and positions; and
Reducing transportation costs by reorganizing and eliminating bus routes, and reducing contractual transportation services.

Mineola Unified School District

Superintendent Michael Nagler

The Mineola Unified School District was awarded $639,387 over 3 years for identifying a total of $852,517 in eligible cost-savings. This was accomplished by:

Consolidating central office administrative responsibilities and positions;
Reconfiguring district-wide grade structure, allowing for closure of two school buildings and reorganization of staff in order to prioritize funding for student programs; and
Identifying unused space for lease.

Mt. Vernon City School District

Superintendent Judith Johnson

The Mt. Vernon City School District was awarded $2,425,734 over 3 years for identifying a total of $2,310,224 in eligible cost-savings. This was accomplished by:

Conducting energy and conservation audits to ensure resources are maximized for most efficient use;
Consolidating central office administrative responsibilities and positions;
Reducing transportation costs by reorganizing bus routes.

Schalmont Central School District

Superintendent Carol Pallas

The Schalmont Central School District was awarded $250,140 over 3 years for identifying a total of $277,933 in eligible cost-savings. This was accomplished by:

Consolidating central office administrative responsibilities and positions (13 total); and
Achieving district-wide energy savings through identification of unused space and consolidation of schools;

Schodack Central School District

Superintendent Robert Horan

The Schodack Central School District was awarded $298,761 over 3 years for identifying a total of $331,956 in eligible cost-savings. This was accomplished by:

Consolidating and reducing central office administrative responsibilities and positions;
Achieving energy efficiencies and savings by installing solar panels on school buildings and bus garage, while also incorporating solar technology into the curriculum.

Three Village Central School District

Superintendent Neil Lederer

The Three Village Central School District was awarded $747,789 over 3 years for identifying a total of $997,053 in eligible cost-savings. This was accomplished by:

Aligning bell schedules in order to achieve efficiencies in transportation;
Reducing transportation costs by reorganizing bus routes, and reducing the contracted bus fleet from 65 active buses to 50.

Unified School District of the Tarrytowns

Superintendent Howard Smith

The Unified School District of the Tarrytowns was awarded $167,202 over 3 years for identifying a total of $185,779 in eligible cost-savings. This was accomplished by:

Reorganizing bus routes and reducing administrative transportation costs.

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.


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