April 30, 2014 – The NY State Senate today passed Senator Ken LaValle’s legislation to require more openness when the Board of Regents adopt mandates that impose new costs on local School Districts. The bill (Senate 1564) requires the Board of Regents to disclose financial ramifications and identify sources of funding to meet requirements as they consider program or policy changes.
“The Board of Regents must be more transparent when establishing new rules and procedures that force local school districts to incur new costs. Too often the Board imposes mandates on our schools causing increased expenses, which in many instances are passed on to taxpayers. This legislation will make the Board of Regents engage in open dialog when they consider changes.” said Senator Ken LaValle.
Specifically, the legislation amends the education law to require the Board of Regents to provide a listing of all costs associated with proposals. This will ensure that any resolution that alters or amends the rules or regulations set by the Regents provides the following:
- All entities that are expected to be affected by proposed increases in costs;
- Source(s) of income to pay for increases, whether it be from the general fund or other funds;
- Type of tax increase necessary to fund proposal;
- If the tax increase is derived from local property taxes, list the expected increase by school districts;
The bill would enhance the accountability and transparency citizens of New York State have come to expect from governmental agencies.