by Empire Center for New York State Policy
Empire Center for Public Policy
February 07, 2014
New York’s annual budget battles over state aid to public education have taken on a new urgency since the recession and the 2011 enactment of a law empowering local voters to cap property taxes. Education spending advocates say the tax cap and Governor Cuomo’s limit on school aid increases have created budget constraints. Yet, from 2008-09 to 2012-13, the statewide median teacher salary rose by 10 percent. In addition, schools in 2012-13 were still employing almost as many professional staffers as they did in 2000-01 when there were 284,335 more pupils. Clearly, state law is a major factor in increasing teacher compensation costs as a result of automatic pay raises while the relatively high levels of staffing, relative to enrollment, needs to be more closely examined.