Senator Saland’s Legislation To Reduce The Paperwork Mandate On Schools Passes The Senate

Stephen M. Saland

March 26, 2009

Senator Steve Saland (R,C Poughkeepsie) today announced that his legislation (S.5416) to reduce the paperwork mandate on schools and BOCES by eliminating and streamlining planning and reporting requirements by schools has passed the Senate. This legislation would eliminate or consolidate 90 mandated reports.

This legislation eliminates and streamlines school district and BOCES planning and reporting requirement by reducing duplication and burdensome separate reporting systems. The bill requires that the Commissioner of Education reduce the paperwork burden while focusing planning and reporting on student results. The bill requires that the Commissioner conform state reporting and planning requirements to federal requirements, where possible, and to seek federal waivers where needed to align state and federal requirements.

"This legislation directs schools to eliminate and reduce paperwork to the extent possible and conform with federal requirements so as to avoid duplicative data reporting," said Senator Saland. "It would keep measures in place that promote fiscal and programmatic accountability while removing those which are unnecessary and burdensome to schools."

"In the three years I have served as Chair of the Education Committee no unfunded mandate bills have been reported from the Education Committee," said Senator Saland. "School districts throughout the state, as well as the State Education Department, would realize considerable savings in the staff time required to prepare and review these reports, as well as the printing and mailing costs."

In the Commissioner’s report of June 1, 2003 he found that federal and state law and Commissioner’s regulations require school districts to submit what is now approximately 150 plans, applications and reports to the State Education Department annually.