Posted by: Dawn Powell | June 24, 2011

Unfunded Mandates

Consolidation Meeting 2 – June 23, 2011

When Dr. Fuchs (Superintendentfor the PV Central School District) gave her presentation at the irregular Town
Board meeting before the budget vote, she said that unfunded mandates were a major issue, but the numbers that she cited were not explanatory.  Last night that question was asked, and answered.

It was the second meeting on consolidation of the new organization, CURE.
There is a website, read1.org where the unfunded mandates for 4 school districts were itemized and posted.  This
information was presented to the last commission studying unfunded mandates by the state government to local school districts. It is quite revealing.

The only mandates I have heard about prior are the defibrillators placed in the schools, and the
stormwater mandates to local governments.

I have heard about the new requirements for teacher evaluations. Politics rules, and there has been a lot of nonsense about holding teachers accountable for student performance. So, even though no educators support these teacher performance reviews, the legislators have passed them to the tune of millions for the taxpayers.  This has been done even after lots of discussion about unfunded mandates, and a supposed commitment to no new unfunded mandates.

This new unfunded mandate is not included in the website cited.

One mandate mentioned was the paperwork required for special education.  This does not improve the quality of special ed or help the students, but once instituted, government doesn’t seem to let go easily of its antiquated
approach.

Also mentioned was that there are constituencies for these mandates, and pols don’t want to alienate
those voters by doing the right thing.  I’m pretty tired of government that doesn’t work because the goal is to stay in office.  Instead of endless conversations about who should be able to get married, and useless, and even damaging tax caps, I want to see real change.

Unfunded mandates would be a good place to start.  And everyone would benefit.  What a concept.

DP


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