Explain our analysis of underfunded mandates. Explain our analysis of underfunded mandates


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Explain our analysis of underfunded mandates.

  • Explain our analysis of underfunded mandates.

  • Illustrate the need for legislation which requires calculating local costs associated with bills before they are enacted.

  • Illustrate the need to review current mandates to see if there are alternatives to reduce costs.

    • There are ‘low-hanging’, less politically driven mandates that can be adjusted to reduce tax payer costs immediately.
  • Illustrate the need to slow down APPR implementation, which could be one of the largest underfunded mandate to date.



  • Specific Focus

  • Rolling back underfunded mandates, by making lawmakers aware of their actual costs

    • Sharing cost saving ideas among the R.E.A.D. districts
    • TRS and ERS pension fund shortfalls


Be informed:

  • Be informed:

    • We need to understand where and how funding is spent.
  • Responsible leadership:

    • We represent taxpayers. These mandates are paid for by local property taxes.
  • Accountability and transparency:

    • School districts must show how they spend money.


R.E.A.D. created a template that itemizes and presents information on estimating the cost of Underfunded mandates.

  • R.E.A.D. created a template that itemizes and presents information on estimating the cost of Underfunded mandates.

  • Over 90 mandates are included, segmented into categories:



State, Federal and SED mandates are included.

  • State, Federal and SED mandates are included.

    • Does not include mandates which R.E.A.D. feels are necessary district obligations.
    • Does not include costs associated with Benefits (retirement system, health, etc.), Wick’s Law (over the life of the loan), Triborough and other major benefit, negotiation or construction costs.
  • The compilation is an objective view of mandate costs.

    • Each mandate has cost consequences whether or not they are beneficial.
    • The list is continuously updated and revised to be a more accurate representation of mandate obligations.
      • The most recent revision is an update developed in December 2009.


Each district compiles their own data.

  • Each district compiles their own data.

    • NYSBBA and Westchester Putnam School Board Association (WPSBA) are helping to coordinate the effort.
  • Definitions for mandate have been developed so that districts are consistent in identifying costs associated with mandates.

    • Methods for estimating personnel hours and other costs, ST3 locations, etc. are provided to make cost calculations easier.
    • Templates for estimating testing costs and Wick’s law costs are provided.


Categories, descriptions, and account codes

  • Categories, descriptions, and account codes

  • are provided.

  • School districts provide actual amounts.

  • Aid is subtracted from total costs.



In FY ‘08-09, the total cost for these Underfunded mandates for seven districts was $94.4 million, or an average of 20% of the entire school budget.

  • In FY ‘08-09, the total cost for these Underfunded mandates for seven districts was $94.4 million, or an average of 20% of the entire school budget.







The numbers add up quickly for eight school districts...

  • The numbers add up quickly for eight school districts...

  • Over $587,881 in testing costs.

  • Over $151,460 in internal audit costs.

  • Over $541,093 in data warehousing costs.

  • Over $287,338 in special education legal costs.

  • Over $66,185 in Special Education (STAC) reporting.

  • Over $118,000 in clerical costs associated with professional development & monitoring highly qualified teacher requirements.

  • Over $209,779 in inspections, monitoring, and compliance (OSHA, DEC, elevators, fire safety, extinguishers).





Underfunded mandate reduction act, following the lines of the federal paperwork reduction act.

  • Underfunded mandate reduction act, following the lines of the federal paperwork reduction act.

    • Requires a cost estimate for each new mandate from the legislature or the education department. These costs would be calculated for the different types of local districts and accumulated for a statewide total mandate cost.
  • Legislation to reduce the cost of the new comptroller’s audits, which have cost taxpayers more to conduct than they have saved.

    • Reduce the frequency to every two years
    • Streamline the requirements on districts who have had clean records for two cycles, to a half-cost audit.
  • Support for the bill allowing amortization of TRS payments (Member Abbate’s Bill Number A06309 - Same as State Senate Number S 4067).

  • Delay introduction of APPR until costs associated with implementation such as data collection, reporting, training, etc. are known and mechanisms for paying for these costs are implemented.

    • Estimated costs for 6 Rockland districts are $2.7 million per year. Extrapolated to 675 school districts the cost per year could be over $306 million per year.









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