While school districts across the state grapple with their own gloomy financial forecasts, the State Education Department's own situation isn't looking too rosy, either.
Tom Precious reported that during budget hearings in Albany this week, the State Education Department's fiscal outlook is so bad that the state might have to cancel Regents exams, according to Education Commissioner David Steiner.
"Steiner said a $15 million account to fund the Regents exams is facing elimination. Cuomo's proposed budget includes no money for the program, Steiner said, and federal funding that did cover the exams has run out," Precious reported.
There's talk of scaling back to just two Regents exams: math and English.
A few months ago, the state floated the idea of charging school districts $6 for each Regents exam taken by each student. Talk of that proposal is still circulating and riling local school officials.
In fact, it tops the list of mandate relief proposals put forward by the Conference of Big Five School Districts (representing Buffalo and the other four biggest urban districts in the state): "Ensure that no new state assessment-related expenses are passed on to districts already struggling with difficult administration, scanning and scoring mandates that have already placed an unfunded fiscal burden on them."
- Mary Pasciak