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Regents exams: Cancel some or make schools pay?

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 "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

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | [email protected]


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | [email protected]


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | [email protected]


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | [email protected]

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