Wednesday, April 11, 2012
 

 

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Competition to reward school districts that save tax dollars by streamlining bureaucracy and increasing efficiency

ALBANY – The School District Management Efficiency Awards program to reward school districts that have implemented long-term efficiency or cost saving measures in school district management and operations was launched Tuesday. The efficiency awards program is designed to help school districts create comprehensive and innovative strategies which lead to improved results for students, long-term gains in school and school system capacity, reduced costs and increased productivity and effectiveness.

The efficiency awards will be granted to school districts in the state that have most effectively cut unnecessary bureaucratic costs while maintaining the integrity of educational programs and services for our students and teachers. Districts will be asked to submit applications that show cost savings in management efficiencies through eliminating administrative redundancies, reducing transportation costs and cutting other administrative overhead. Districts will also have to show they are engaging stakeholders in cost cutting efforts, including consulting parents and teachers about cost saving proposals. 

Up to $75 million in grants will be distributed over the next 3 years, with additional awards to be distributed in future years. 

“To make New York a national leader in education we need to invest less in the bureaucracy and more in our students,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “For years, our state has believed the only way to fix education was to spend more of the taxpayers' money but while we spend more than any other state on education, we are still 38th in results. This competitive award program will reward school districts that reduce waste and cut through the bureaucracy to provide better education services to our students. This program, along with the ongoing performance grants, will make our education system prioritize delivering better results and raising student achievement to give all our students a better education.”

Currently, education aid is primarily distributed through formula-based grants without performance incentives or requirements. To transform the state's education system, Governor Cuomo created in his first Executive Budget two performance-based competitive award programs to incentivize student performance and management efficiency.

Grants will be awarded pursuant to a competitive process. Priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate the implementation of long term efficiencies, which can be replicated by other districts. School districts will also receive points for creating significant and sustainable savings while maintaining or improving student achievement. No award will be granted to programs that result in additional cost to the state.

School districts must submit applications to the State Education Department by June 6, 2012, and the first round of awards will be announced and awarded during the 2012-2013 school year. Bonus points will be given to school districts that have a State Education Department approved teacher evaluation systems in place by September 1, 2012. 

More information and school district applications available here: www.p12.nysed.gov/funding/gc-12-010/ .