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    The Mahopac school district and Sen. Greg Ball’s Mandate Relief Advisory Council are holding a Mandate Relief Roundtable 11 a.m. Sept. 7 at Mahopac High School, 421 Baldwin Place Road, Mahopac.

    The agenda includes reviewing a survey of unfunded mandates; mandate relief resolutions that schools and municipalities in the Senate district submitted to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Mandate Relief Council; and mandates frequently raised in discussions with school administrators, municipalities, board members and the public. New York has some of the highest taxes in the country, in part because of mandates, the organizers said.

    “Unfunded mandates are crushing our local governments and school districts all across the state. We need unfunded mandate relief and we need it now,” Ball, R-Patterson, said in a statement. “I am happy to host this roundtable with Superintendent Manko, to dig deeper into these burdensome testing requirements, local reporting nightmares and administrative bureaucracy. There are a myriad of opportunities for Albany to deliver relief.”

    School districts are left footing the bill for Albany’s and Washington’s unfunded and underfunded school mandates, Manko said in a statement.

    “Here in Mahopac, we are proud of our K-12 educational program, which culminates in a Senior High School program that prepares students for college and the workforce and has been designated by Newsweek Magazine as one of ‘America’s Best’ for four consecutive years. However, we are drowning in unfunded and underfunded mandates that must be paid for by the taxpayer and consume nearly 18% of the district’s annual budget.

    “If we continue at this rate, layoffs will increase at a rapid pace and cutting essential programs as a solution to balance the budget will become inevitable just to pay for these mandated programs and services. I am happy to co-host this roundtable with Senator Ball and I would like to thank him for his commitment to providing us with much needed unfunded mandate relief.”

    To attend the Mandate Relief Roundtable, RSVP to 845-279-3773 or email (ARTICLE)