The Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach at SUNY New Paltz recently released a report, “Federal Mandates on Local Education: Costs and Consequences – Yes, it’s a Race, but is it in the Right Direction?” written by South Orangetown Superintendent Kenneth Mitchell. According to the report, Hudson Valley schools will spend almost $400 per student for Race to the Top reforms, while receiving just $38 per student on average from the federal grant. The difference will either come from local taxpayers or at the expense of other important education programs..
From the report: “Much is being sacrificed to meet this expensive mandate in the context of the state’s newly enacted tax cap, including: teacher and staff cuts resulting in increased class sizes; redirected priorities and unmet facilities’ needs; diminishing professional development; a narrowing of curriculum; and sacrificed leadership in curriculum development and nontraditional approaches.”
One section of the report analyzes the actual costs for 18 school districts in New York’s lower Hudson Valley to implement/comply with Race to the Top requirements by the July 1, 2012 deadline. The aggregate expenditure for these 18 districts was $6,472,166, while the aggregate funding was $520,415. These districts had to make up a cost differential of $5,951,751 with local taxpayer funding or through cuts to existing programs. Yikes!
This is a fascinating read. Check it out.