Will Long Island Schools Be Set Adrift? - Nassau

Will Long Island Schools
Be Set Adrift?
Is Insolvency on the Horizon?
January 31, 2013
Dr. Roberta A. Gerold, President-Elect, SCSSA
Dr. Alan B. Groveman, Past President, SCSSA
Mr. Charles A. Leunig, Babylon Cluster Chairperson
Mr. James F. McKenna, President, SCSSA
Enrollment / CWR
6,695 / 1.13
4,851 / 0.71
Middle Country
10,992 / 0.82
1,435 / 2.33
TRS 2012-13
ERS 2012-13
Budget 2012-13
Tax Levy 2012-13
Health Ins. 2012-13
Projected Increase
$ 2013-14 (ERS, TRS,
Health Ins.)
Budget Increase %
Tax Levy Increase %
• Fiscal Insolvency
• Educational Insolvency
• Part 100 – What Isn’t Required
• NYS Constitutional Requirement Overview
• Key Questions
• Advocacy Planning
June 2011 SED memo outlines “Procedures and
assistance when school districts are threatened
with insolvency.” The document answers the
question, “What if a district becomes
insolvent?” as follows:
 There is no provision in statute to allow districts to
declare bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Code requires
specific state statutory authorization to declare
bankruptcy – 11 USC section 109(c)(2). Many districts
have sought and received special legislation to help
them deal with a financial emergency or deficit.
2013-14 Regents State Aid Proposal
references to “Educational Insolvency”:
Support for Regional Secondary Schools –
…Regional Secondary schools may offer a
lifeline for saving instructional programs on
the verge of “educational insolvency,” i.e.,
the inability of school districts to provide
quality educational programs due to
significantly reduced revenues and small
2013-14 Regents State Aid Proposal references to
“Educational Insolvency”:
 Develop and Track Education Opportunity Indicators …An academic researcher has been engaged to develop a
limited, but essential, number of reliable and valid indicators
to measure the educational opportunities available to
students in each district. This important endeavor will also
enable department staff to monitor changes over time and
provide an early indication of “educational insolvency.” It is
anticipated that the approach could also help identify best
Part 100
What Isn’t Required by Regulation:
Elementary level music and art instruction Extracurricular clubs /
from certified music and art teachers
High School yearbooks
Elementary level mandated units of study
in anything other than physical education
Grade 6 Guidance
Elementary level librarians
Interscholastic sports
High school accelerated courses
Late bus transportation
Gifted and Talented programs
Full Day kindergarten
2 or more languages, other than English –
and more than 2 units of study of a
foreign language
Technology, other than calculators for
specific math/regents course work
Security staff
Graduation ceremonies
NYS Constitutional
• In 2003, NYS Court of Appeals held that
the State Constitution requires the
State to provide all students with a
“meaningful high school education,”
one that will prepare them to “function
productively as civic participants
capable of voting or serving on a jury”
and “to obtain competitive
NYS Constitutional
The Court described the essential resources that
are necessary to provide all students with the
opportunity for a sound, basic education. The
judge articulated these as follows:
1. Sufficient numbers of qualified teachers,
principals, and other personnel;
2. Appropriate class sizes;
3. Adequate and accessible school buildings with
sufficient space to ensure appropriate class size
and implementation of a sound curriculum;
NYS Constitutional
4. Sufficient and up-to-date books, supplies,
libraries, educational technology, and
5. Suitable curricula, including an
expanded platform of programs to help
at-risk students by giving them “more
time on task”;
6. Adequate resources for students with
extraordinary needs; and
7. A safe, orderly environment.
Key Questions –
Educational Issues /
In terms of Educational Insolvency:
What is the “tipping point” in your schoolcommunity? Cite examples of reductions that
would represent educational insolvency in your
When do you think you might reach the
tipping point?
 Do you feel like your district is already headed
in that direction?
Key Questions –
Fiscal Issues /
In terms of Fiscal Insolvency:
What is the fund balance situation in your
district? Reductions? Plans?
What is the tax levy limit situation in your district?
How did you address the cap last year? What is
the outlook for this year? Does your community
understand the cap?
 What does your state aid history look like?
Does your community understand the
relationship of state aid to property taxes?
Can You Answer
These Questions for
Your District?
SCSSA Leadership
Board of Directors
President – Mr. James F. McKenna, Mattituck-Cutchogue UFSD
President-Elect – Dr. Roberta A. Gerold, Middle Country CSD
Vice President – Mr. Anthony Cacciola, West Babylon UFSD
Treasurer – Mrs. Susan A. Schnebel, Islip UFSD
Secretary – Dr. Charles T. Russo, East Moriches UFSD
Past-President – Dr. Alan B. Groveman, Connetquot CSD
Legislative Committee
Mr. Gary D. Bixhorn
Eastern Suffolk BOCES
Babylon Cluster
Mr. Anthony Cacciola
West Babylon UFSD
Islip Cluster
Ms. Patricia Sullivan-Kriss
Hauppauge UFSD
Huntington/Smithtown Cluster
Ms. Diana Todaro
Harborfields CSD
East End Cluster
Mr. David Gamberg
Southold UFSD
Brookhaven/Riverhead Cluster
Ms. Nancy Carney
Riverhead CSD
Executive Director
Dr. Candee Swenson

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