State Senate Passes Legislation To Cut Costs For Gloversville Schools

Hugh T. Farley

June 13, 2008

The State Senate today unanimously passed legislation (S.7805) sponsored by Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) seeking to repeal an unfunded mandate on the Gloversville School district. If also approved by the Assembly and the Governor, the bill would remove Gloversville from the "Contract for Excellence" program which required the district to spend nearly two million dollars on new programs for students who have already successfully completed remedial programs and passed standardized tests.

"This is common-sense legislation which will benefit all of our children and prevent a terrible waste of taxpayer dollars," Senator Farley said, "and I am pleased that it received unanimous approval from all Senators on both sides of the aisle. Hopefully, the Assembly will also take up the bill, which is sponsored there by our local Assemblyman Marc Butler, during the remaining few days of the legislative session."

Earlier this year, Gloversville was placed in the "Contract for Excellence" program because one class of students in one school failed certain standardized tests. The school district provided remedial education, the students took the tests again this spring, and the district believes that they passed the tests.

Since, however, the test grades had not been publicly released by the State Education Department on April 1st, the start of the State fiscal year, the State will require Gloversville to create new, no longer needed, remediation programs.

The Senate-passed legislation would change the implementation status date to September 1st, the start of the school year, allowing school districts and the State Education Department to consider the results of the spring tests.

Under Senator Farley's proposal, once students passed the tests and no longer needed remedial education, school districts would no long be required to implement new programs, but could instead restore funding for libraries and other regular classroom teaching, or could use the funds to reduce school taxes.