Governor’s State of the State Message calls for Major School Aid Formula Reform

The Governor, in his State of the State message, unveiled a plan to simplify the current system of providing school aid by consolidating 11 state aid formulas to create a new “Flex Aid” program to give school districts much greater flexibility in how they use nearly $10 billion in State aid. Under this formula all school districts would receive some level of operating aid increase and there would be no cap in the maximum amount of aid for which a district could be eligible. The Governor’s proposed formula would also include rewards for improved student performance on statewide achievement test and increased graduation rates.

More details about how this new formula would operate are expected in the Governor’s budget to be presented later this month.

Other elements of the Governor’s education agenda include, but are not limited to:

2000 Pathfinder Awards

The following 27 schools are winners of The Business Council’s Pathfinder awards:

P.S. I.S. 217
The Roosevelt Island School
Manhattan, NY

P.S. 59
The Beekman Hill
International School
Manhattan, NY

P.S. 21
Crispus Attucks School
Brooklny, NY

P.S. 146
Brooklyn New School
Brooklyn, NY

Harmony Hill Elementary School
Cohoes, NY

Van Schaick Island Elementary School
Cohoes, NY

Whitehall Elementary School
Whitehall, NY

Jefferson Elementary School
Massena, NY

John F. Hughes Elementary
Magnet School
Utica, NY

Harts Hill Elementary School
Whitesboro, NY

Gardner Road Elementary School
Horseheads, NY

Greenlawn Elementary School
Bainbridge, NY

The Children’s School of Rochester
Rochester, NY

Pinnacle School (#35)
Rochester, NY

Schlegel Road Elementary School
Webster, NY

Thomas Marks Elementary School
Wilson, NY

North Hill Elementary School
Olean, NY

Longfellow Elementary School
Mt. Vernon NY

Park Avenue Elementary School
Port Chester, NY

Willow Road School
Franklin Square, NY

Francis X. Hegarty School
Island Park, NY

P.S. 55,
Richmond Hill, NY

P.S. 214,
Flushing, NY

P.S. 154, Flushing
Flushing, NY

P.S. 131
Abigail Adams School
Jamaica, NY

P.S. 175
City Island School
New York, NY

P.S. 19,
Bronx, NY

These schools have been chosen to receive the award because they showed the greatest percentage improvement in their area (as defined by judicial district) over 1999 on the state English Language Arts test and they had more than 50% of their students meeting or exceeding the state English Language Arts standards.

Except in those instances were only tenths of a percentage point separated schools, the two most improved schools in a judicial district received the award.

The trophy and $1000 award are being presented to the schools by The Business Council and local chambers of commerce.
For years the business community has called for stronger academic performance in the schools. The Board of Regents responded by significantly raising standards. Schools across the state in districts large or small, rich or poor, are rising to the challenge. Therefore we felt it right that business recognize those schools that have made the most improvement with the Pathfinder Award.

They deserve the recognition; they’ve responded to the call for higher performance, and they need to know that the business community appreciates their accomplishment. We also want to draw widespread attention to these schools because they prove that it can be done.

To date the statewide sponsors of the program are:

Local business support has also been provided by ALCOA, International Paper, Texaco and Dexter Corporation, in conjunction with chambers of commerce in their areas.

The trophy is an original work of art designed and produced by Richard Harrington, (www.rcharrington.com) of South Lima, New York.
If you would like to join us in supporting and expanding this program, please contact Margarita Mayo.

2001 Draft Legislative Program

Enclosed you will find our draft education and job training legislative program for 2001. We expect it to be adopted at our January 16, 2000 Board meeting. If you have any comments or questions, please contact Margarita Mayo before January 16th.

National Goals Panel

The National Goals Panel has recently developed education-related information specific to the states, including New York State.

The information contains summaries of states’ progress toward the National Education Goals. It also includes national and international comparisons for mathematics, science and reading achievement. Also available is a fact sheet that highlights New York State’s particular successes.

The Goals Panel is an excellent resource for education data and information on education reform efforts at the local, state, and federal level.

More information can be accessed through their web site at: www.negp.gov.