PRESS RELEASE

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STATEWIDE SCHOOL FINANCE CONSORTIUM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 27, 2012
CONTACT: Margaret McCormick, 315-373-8047
Dr. Rick Timbs, rtimbs@statewideonline.org

SSFC Response to 2012-13 NYS Budget Agreement

We believe that in their budget agreement state leaders have embraced on a clear, albeit limited, basis the rationale championed for several years by the Statewide School Finance Consortium - that the distribution of state aid must move to a model that sends dollars to schools and communities that need them the most.

While only a tiny first step in this process, the equitable allocation of $290 million in new aid and the reallocation of a portion of state monies originally designated for Performance Grants to direct aid to school districts, are significant in that they demonstrate that our message of ensuring equal and fair educational opportunities for all of New York's children is finally resulting in demonstrative action by Albany.

We will continue to monitor the specifics of the agreement reached by the Governor and legislative leaders and hope that the reallocation of Performance Grants funds are also distributed equitably.

Even with the forthcoming completion of the 2012-13 state budget, SSFC will persist in its mission of guiding and instilling in the state the need to continue to make school district finances sustainable through the equitable distribution of a reasonable and appropriate amount of state aid.
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SSFC Executive Director Dr. Rick Timbs is available to speak with reporters and editors. Contact him at rtimbs@statewideonline.org or call Margaret McCormick at 315-373-8047 to arrange an interview.

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View complete SSFC response here

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NEW DATA!!!

Dr. Rick Timbs has added new Data that you can utilize here from the website. We have analyzed the Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal’s impact on school districts and have suggestions for improvements- critically needed improvements.

It must be clear that their continued advocacy effort hinge, in part, on these data. We continue to press for the legislators to convince the Governor that every penny of the $250 million of Performance Grant monies be reallocated for distribution to fiscally distressed low and average wealth school districts across the state in an equitable formula.

Item 1: Executive Summary of Graphs Demonstrating the Effect of the Proposed 2012 Executive Budget - click here
This is a written explanation of the effects of the proposed 2012 Executive Budget. It includes what works and what still needs improvement.
 
Item 2: Distribution and Impact Graphs with Notes on Graphs- click here
This is prepared for your use so that an audience will be able to see our conclusions as they view the graph
 
Item 3: Distribution and Impact Graphs with Notes - click here
This is prepared for you to use so that an audience will have handouts and can make notes, as needed

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Dr. Rick Timbs recently was a guest on 'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter.

Topic: The Governor's recent acknowledgement of the dangers facing schools in New York

click here to listen

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SSFC Executive Director Dr. Rick Timbs is traveling across New York in an effort to put the pressure on Albany to rescue our struggling schools. Our message is clear: equitable distribution of state aid and immediate mandate relief. Watch the video below:

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CUOMO AND SCHOOLS by Fred LeBrun, Commentary
Published 08:32 p.m., Saturday, February 4, 2012

Governor Cuomo has donned his armor, picked up his lance and says he's ready to leap into the next "Battle of Albany." Windmills statewide be warned.
"You may not hear the cannon and musket fire," he told the New York State Association of Counties last week, but the battle over teacher evaluations is joined. He says if those darned powerful teachers unions continue to block progress, he will impose his own statewide "tougher" teacher evaluation plan through amended budget language on Feb. 16. Andrew Cuomo claims a lot of things over this teacher evaluation nonsense. How much of it is true is something else.

However, since he does have center stage with high public approval, and the bully pulpit, he defines the argument and the enemy. Even when there isn't one.
It could just as persuasively be argued that he, Andrew Cuomo, is the one primarily responsible for "blocking progress" toward a statewide teacher evaluation format that would pass muster with the feds for $700 million in Race to the Top funds, the State Education Department and the unions. All those stakeholders were on the verge of signing just such an agreement last year, an agreement that did include a rigorous new teacher evaluation standard. But the governor intruded with a letter May 13, 2011, specifying he wanted a higher reliance on state standardized tests as a measure of teacher effectiveness than even the law allowed.

Read more of this important commentary: click here

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Click here to read the story above

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TOOLS & EXAMPLES

(New) Here's a great example of a Superintendent who put together a very effective Power Point presentation. You can do the same for your district. This advocacy tool was put together by Tully Superintendent Kraig D. Pritts and Business Administrator Tiffany Nesbitt as part of the Tully Board of Education's ongoing community communication process. It highlights the shortfalls, tough choices and unanswered questions the district faces in putting together a budget for 2012-13. view

(New) Advocacy Toolkit developed by Mike Ford, the Super at Phelps-Clifton Springs. Well-done and easily adaptable for any school district. View this very informative tool from Mike Ford (requires MicrSoft Word) view

(New) MIKE FORD: HOW TO SECURE, INFORM, ACTIVATE AND GUIDE YOUR STAKEHOLDERS View this very informative tool from Mike Ford (requires MS Powerpoint) Download

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL LEGISLATORS - CLICK HERE

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NEWS COVERAGE

Syracuse-area school board members tell state lawmakers ‘there needs to be some equity,’ Syracuse Post-Standard, Feb. 12: click here

School leaders make their pitch, The Auburn Citizen, Feb. 12: click here

WE NEED RESULTS: Canton & Potsdam Communities Develop Signature advocacy Plan, Effort – North Country Now News, Feb 20: click here

WE NEED RESULTS: Meghan E. Murphy: It's time for governor to heed his own words – Record Online, Feb 22: click here

WE NEED RESULTS: Lyme Central facing $400K budget gap due to “unbalanced” state aid distribution – Watertown Daily Times, Feb 22: click here

WE NEED RESULTS: Albany Looks to Wrap Up Budget by March 22 – Contact Governor & Legislators ASAP! - Albany Times-Union, Feb 23: click here

WE NEED RESULTS: Fred LeBrun: Start a fire, solve the problem, take a bow– Albany Times-Union, Feb 18: click here

WE NEED RESULTS: Lawmakers Push For Cuomo To Reassess Competitive Education Grants– NY1, Feb 15: click here

WE NEED RESULTS: Auburn Administrators and Board paint grim picture– Auburn Pub, Jan 20: click here

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WORKSHOP VIDEO

Watch an excerpt from the November workshop at Oneida-Madison BOCES as Dr. Rick Timbs evaluates the New York State Senate:clickhere to view

(Videos require Quicktime plugin| click here for free download)