Local school districts taking on Albany

In the latest state legislative session, New York lawmakers approved a 2 percent cap on property tax hikes that will take effect  with next year’s budget cycle — but with minimal mandate relief at a time when school districts’ pension and health insurance costs and other expenses have been skyrocketing.

Rhinebeck Superintendent Joseph Phelan and Onteora Superintendent Phyllis Spiegel McGill both noted that among the new costly mandates — imposed with no financial help from the state — are teacher and principal evaluations that must be carried out.

School districts have to develop or buy assessments to evaluate teachers whose students are not currently tested by the state, they have to train teachers and administrators, and they have to spend more time on observations, Phelan and McGill said.

Read On: http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2011/08/07/news/doc4e3df34f9a284291915535.txt