Public education in New York
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- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Taxpayer-funded lobbying
- 9 Transparency
- 10 Studies and reports
- 11 Issues
- 12 School districts
- 13 Education ballot measures
- 14 Recent news
- 15 See also
- 16 External links
- 17 References
List of school districts in New York
Public education in New York
School board elections portal
The mission statement of the New York State Education Department reads:
|“||Our mission is to raise the knowledge, skill, and opportunity of all the people in New York. Our vision is to provide leadership for a system that yields the best educated people in the world.||”|
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The New York State Education Department adopted these standards on July 19, 2010. Implementation of the Common Core State Standards began in 2011. The standards will be fully implemented for the 2014-2015 school year.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states and Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how New York compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in New York as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.
|Demographic Information for New York's K-12 Public School System|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students||5,214||0.19%||0.42%|
|Two or More||22,578||0.83%||2.54%|
|**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.|
Enrollments by region type
A majority of New York students attend city or suburban schools. This is the same in Massachusetts. However, in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, students are more likely to attend rural schools than city schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural Schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD) (timed out)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania), New York had the lowest percentage of students score at or above proficient in math and reading in fourth grade and eighth grade.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
- See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for New York was higher than the national average at 3.6 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 3.8 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in New York
New York has the sixth highest private school attendance rate in the United States. Other school choice options in the state include charter schools, homeschooling, online learning and voluntary inter-district public school open enrollment.
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: New York state budget and finances
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 19.8 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. This is down 1.1 percentage points, a 5.3 percent decrease in the share of the budget from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 20.9 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education. Just over half of New York's education revenue comes from local funding. State funding accounts for just over 40 percent, and federal funding accounts for approximately nine percent.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources:NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in New York totaled approximately $57.6 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for New York and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in New York totaled approximately $58.5 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for New York and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in New York, the average salary increased by eight percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012, the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. New York ranked ninth overall, or strongest, which was in the first tier of five.
List of local New York school unions:
- American Federation of Teachers (New York City)
- New York State United Teachers
- New York State United Teachers (Latham)
- National Education Association Of New York
- Buffalo Teachers Federation
- Yonkers Federation Of Teachers
- American Federation of Teachers (Rochester)
- American Federation of Teachers (Niagra Falls)
- Catholic Lay Teachers Group Of The Archdiocese Of New York
- American Federation of Teachers (Ronkonkoma)
- See also: New York government sector lobbying
The main education government sector lobbying organization is the New York State School Boards Association.
The state of New York has two transparency resources that monitor government spending: Open Book New York, created by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, and Project Sunlight, created by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Studies and reports
Quality Counts 2014
- See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report
Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:
- Chance for success
- K-12 achievement
- Standards, assessments and accountability
- The teaching profession
- School finance
- Transitions and Alignment
Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.
New York received a score of 81.0, or a B- average in the "chance for success" category. This was above the national average. The state's highest score was in "standards, assessments and accountability" at 92.0, or an A- average. The lowest score was in "K-12 achievement" at 70.2, or a C- average. New York had the third highest score in the "school finance" category in the country. The chart below displays the scores of New York and its surrounding states.
Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.
|Public education report cards, 2014|
|State||Chance for success||K-12 achievement||Standards, assessments and accountability||The teaching profession||School finance||Transitions and Alignment|
|New York||81.0 (B-)||70.2 (C-)||92.0 (A-)||81.5 (B-)||87.2 (B+)||85.7 (B)|
|Massachusetts||91.4 (A-)||83.7 (B)||88.4 (B+)||78.7 (C+)||83.5 (B)||75.0 (C)|
|New Jersey||88.2 (B+)||82.1 (B-)||75.5 (C)||67.2 (D+)||84.5 (B)||82.1 (B-)|
|Pennsylvania||82.6 (B)||75.6 (C)||77.7 (C+)||74.6 (C)||82.0 (B-)||78.6 (C+)|
|United States Average||77.3 (C+)||70.2 (C-)||85.3 (B)||72.5 (C)||75.5 (C)||81.1 (B-)|
| Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015|
A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
New York City preschool expansion
One of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's (D) primary campaign planks in 2013 was the establishment of free, full-day prekindergarten to help low-income families who live in the city's school district. His initial proposal financed the expansion by raising taxes on high-income city residents. On March 29, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo and leaders in the New York State Legislature reached an agreement on the state budget. The budget included $300 million in funding for the New York City prekindergarten expansion, but it did not use Mayor de Blasio's tax plan to finance the expenditures. The funding was also less than the $340 million requested by the city, and the budget included a requirement for the New York City government to allocate space in public school buildings or to pay a share of the overhead expenses for charter schools on private land in the city, which Mayor de Blasio had previously fought. He still celebrated the announcement, arguing that it was "an extraordinary and historic step forward for New York City. [...] It’s clearly the resources we need to create full-day pre-K for every child in this city. That’s what we set out to do."
The city intended to enroll approximately 53,000 full-day preschool children during the 2014-2015 school year. Before the expansion, the city had facilities for approximately 20,000 full-day preschool students. Center for Children's Initiatives Executive Director Nancy Kolben, who served on the committee formed by Mayor de Blasio to handle the prekindergarten plan, stated that the goal is to have 70,000 full-day children enrolled for the 2015-2016 school year. Mayor de Blasio charged Sophia Pappas, executive director of the city's Office of Early Childhood Education, with the implementation of the program.
Buffalo Superintendent Pamela Brown
Significant divisions arose within the Buffalo Board of Education after the election of former gubernatorial candidate and local businessman Carl P. Paladino in 2013. In that race, Paladino campaigned for the removal of incumbent board members and the dismissal of the district's top administrators, including Superintendent Pamela Brown. After joining the board, Paladino continued to call for Superintendent Brown's resignation or firing, stating that she was "obviously incapable." In September 2013, the board ruled in a 5-4 decision to keep the superintendent in place.
In May 2014, Superintendent Brown announced her intention to resign after her opponents on the board won a governing majority following the election of Larry Quinn and Patricia B. Pierce. The school voted 7-2 to accept her resignation on June 16, 2014. In exchange for her voluntary resignation, the district agreed to pay her a year's salary and other compensation that totaled up to $238,667. The school board appointed district administrator Will Keresztes to the position of interim superintendent while it conducted a hiring search for Brown's long-term replacement. Less than a month later, the board appointed Donald A. Ogilvie as the new interim superintendent of the district to replace Keresztes.
- See also: School board elections portal
- Central districts are traditional school districts that provide K-12 educational services to students. They can be created through mergers of common, union free or other central districts.
- Central high school districts provide secondary education services to common or union free district students. The governing body is made up of appointed representatives from the constituent school districts it serves.
- City districts are traditional school districts that provide K-12 educational services to students within the boundaries of the city limits. The city must have a population of less than 125,000 residents to receive this classification.
- Enlarged city districts are identical to city districts except that the boundaries of the district extend beyond the city limits.
- Dependent city districts are in cities with a population greater than 125,000 residents. The district operates as part of the municipal government, including the school district's funding. The governing body does not have the power to levy taxes or incur debt in a dependent city district. The five dependent city districts are Buffalo, New York City, Rochester City, Syracuse City and Yonkers. Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse have elected governing bodies. The governing body in New York City is appointed by the mayor and the borough presidents, and the governing body in Yonkers is appointed by only the mayor.
- Common districts are the oldest form of school district in New York. Common districts are not legally authorized to establish high schools, so common districts send their students to high schools in a neighboring district or districts. The governing body can consist of one or three board members.
- Union free districts consist of two or more common districts merged together. The purpose was initially to provide high schools to students, but some union free districts operating today only provide K-8 educational services and still send their students to high schools in a neighboring district or districts.
- See also: List of school districts in New York
|Student enrollment||Per-pupil spending|
|1.) New York City Department of Education||1.) Kiryas Joel|
|2.) Buffalo||2.) Bridgehampton Union Free|
|3.) Rochester City||3.) Long Lake Central|
|4.) Yonkers||4.) Fishers Island Union Free|
|5.) Syracuse City||5.) Amagansett Union Free|
|6.) Brentwood Union Free||6.) Newcomb Central|
|7.) Sachem Central||7.) Pocantico Hills Central|
|8.) Wappingers Central||8.) Southampton Union Free|
|9.) Greece Central||9.) Minerva Central|
|10.) Newburgh Enlarged City||10.) Shelter Island Union Free|
School board composition
New York school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although school board members in New York City and Yonkers are appointed. New York school board elections typically follow one of these three methods, or a mixture thereof:
- At-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, regardless of geographic location.
- Trustee area: Only voters residing in a specific geographic area within the school district may vote on certain candidates, who must also reside in that specific geographic area.
- Trustee area at-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, but candidates must reside in specific geographic areas within the school district.
School boards typically consist of between one to nine members, although there are exceptions. Most board members serve three, four or five-year terms, although there are exceptions to that, as well.
New York does not impose statewide term limits on school board members.
A total of 16 New York school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment held elections for 44 seats in 2015. Fourteen districts held elections on May 19, 2015. The other two will hold elections on November 3, 2015.
Here are several quick facts about New York's school board elections in 2015:
- The largest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 was Rochester City School District with 30,145 K-12 students.
- The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 was North Syracuse Central School District with 9,239 K-12 students.
- Three districts were tied the most seats on the ballot in 2015 with four seats up for election in both.
- Utica City School District had the fewest seats on the ballot in 2015 with one seat up for election.
The districts listed below served 207,170 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district names for more information on the district and its school board elections.
|2015 New York School Board Elections|
|District||Date||Seats up for election||Total board seats||Student enrollment|
|Brentwood Union Free School District||5/19/2015||3||7||17,492|
|Greece Central School District||5/19/2015||3||9||11,602|
|Half Hollow Hills Central School District||5/19/2015||2||7||9,427|
|Middle Country Central School District||5/19/2015||3||9||10,398|
|New Rochelle School District||5/19/2015||2||9||10,907|
|Newburgh Enlarged City School District||5/19/2015||3||9||11,406|
|North Syracuse Central School District||5/19/2015||4||9||9,239|
|Sachem Central School District||5/19/2015||3||9||14,231|
|Schenectady City School District||5/19/2015||2||7||9,790|
|Shenendehowa Central School District||5/19/2015||2||7||9,776|
|Smithtown Central School District||5/19/2015||2||7||10,317|
|Utica City School District||5/19/2015||1||7||9,714|
|Wappingers Central School District||5/19/2015||3||9||11,865|
|Williamsville Central School District||5/19/2015||3||9||10,239|
|Rochester City School District||11/3/2015||4||7||30,145|
|Syracuse City School District||11/3/2015||4||7||20,622|
Path to the ballot
To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in New York, a person must be:
- 18 years of age or older
- Able to read and write
- A qualified voter in the district
- A resident of the district for between 30 days and three years before the election, depending on the district
A person must not be:
- Employed by the school district
- Married or related to a current member of the board
The process of running for office as a school board candidate begins with filing nomination papers with the school district clerk. The number of petition signatures required varies from a flat number of 100 qualified voters in the district to either 25 qualified voters or two percent of the number of voters in the previous election, whichever number is greater. Nominating petitions must be filed with the district clerk either 30 or 20 days before the election, depending on the district.
New York requires all school board candidates to file three campaign finance reports with the district clerk during the election cycle. If a candidate's expenditures exceed $500, the candidate must file an additional report with the New York Commissioner of Education.
Education ballot measures
Ballotpedia has tracked the following statewide ballot measures relating to education.
- New York Bonds for School Technology Act, Proposal 3 (2014)
- New York Proposal 2, Small City School Districts Excluded from Debt Limits (2003)
- New York School Bonds, Proposal 3 (1997)
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "New + York + Education "
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- New York state budget and finances
- New York Department of Education
- List of school districts in New York
- School choice in New York
- Charter schools in New York
- New York
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- New York State Education Department
- New York State Board of Regents
- New York State School Boards Association
- New York Charter Schools
- New York Education Budget
- New York Education Audit Reports
- New York Public School Ratings by PSK12
- New York Public School Ratings by Great Schools
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
- ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
- New York State Education Department, "About the New York State Education Department," accessed June 2, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed July 12, 2014
- Engage NY, "Common Core Implementation Timeline," accessed June 17, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014 (timed out)
- Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, "How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Center for Union Facts, "New York teachers unions," accessed September 4, 2009
- Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
- The New York Times, "Obstacles Seen for de Blasio’s Preschools Plan," August 28, 2013
- The New York Times, "State Budget Deal Reached; $300 Million for New York City Pre-K," March 29, 2014
- Education Week, "N.Y.C. Hustles to Make Use of Pre-K Windfall," April 7, 2014
- The Wall Street Journal, "Head of New York City's Pre-K Expansion Has Daunting Job Ahead," May 18, 2014
- WBFO 88.7: NPR News & More, "Paladino to launch major push to remove school board incumbents," January 24, 2013
- WBFO 88.7: NPR News & More, "Paladino wins, vows to shake up school district," May 8, 2013
- WBFO 88.7: NPR News & More, "Seeking changes, Paladino takes school board seat," July 10, 2013
- WBFO 88.7: NPR News & More, "Board votes to keep Superintendent Brown," September 26, 2013
- The Buffalo News, "Incoming School Board majority wants search for interim superintendent to begin ‘immediately’," June 3, 2014
- The Buffalo News, "Brown is out; Keresztes named interim superintendent for Buffalo schools," June 16, 2014
- Time Warner Cable News, "Buffalo School Board Makes Superintendent's Resignation Official," June 16, 2014
- Buffalo Business First, "Turnover has become norm for Buffalo school superintendents," March 27, 2015
- United States Census Bureau, "New York," accessed July 11, 2014
- New York State Education Department, "Guide to the Reorganization of School Districts in New York State," accessed July 11, 2014
- Information and Reporting Services, "Education Statistics for New York State," accessed August 9, 2013
- Fiscal Analysis & Research Unit, "The Fiscal Profile Reporting System," accessed August 9, 2013
- New York State School Boards Association, "Running for the School Board," accessed July 11, 2014
- National School Boards Association, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," accessed July 8, 2014
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