Translating the New York State FY2020 Budget With Respect to Yonkers
By HEZI ARIS

eHezi Campaign Trail, Community, Economic Development, Education, Environmental, Finance, Governance, Hezitorial, History, Law, Mt. Vernon, New York City, New York State, Ossining, Ossining, NY, People, Politics, Port Chester, NY, Westchester County, NY, White Plains, NY, Yonkers, NY 15 Comments

The Fiscal Inequity Hezitorial

Charicature of a younger, better looking Editor-at-Large / Radio Host Hezi Aris.

YONKERS, NY — March 31, 2019 — The New York State Legislature has moved positively in acknowledges issues heretofore not acknowledged. Laudable indeed, but still languishing from that which can be accomplished. In juxtaposition to what is, let us collectively balance it proportionally, equitably, and fiscally…

Yonkers’ Allocations:

$12 million in Bullet Aid / One-shot;

$11 million in Foundation Aid intended to support high-needs districts / recurring; and

$4.5 million in reimbursement aid.

Total = $27.5 million

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Shortfalls to be corrected: $4 to $8 million in additional Foundation Aid

Yonkers Board of Education Budget Allocations must be reduced vis-a-vis the endlessly expanding unabated hiring in central office that has easily expanded by 30 percent under the aegis of Yonkers Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin Quezada. Insiders in the know advise that Quezada has every intention to continue his spending spree bonanza to pad central office with “his” cronies. Cost cuts are seemingly superfluous to his mindset. The Yonkers Board of Education Board of Trustees must deny Quezada his flamboyant demeanor and exact a prudent, fiscally sound, and affordable budgetary allocation as per the City of Yonkers (CoY) capacity. To wit, the Yonkers City Council must deliberate over the numerical/budgetary allocations presented by Quezada in future Budget Hearings that are sound in purpose and within CoY’s financial capacity.

The “heavy lifting” must now be engaged to correct and thereby correct equity in the Foundation Aid Formula. the present Foundation Aid Formula which uses synthetically weighted and truncated metrics that lead to maintaining, creating, and at minimum fostering inequities.

Yonkers present Foundation Aid Formulation is set at 52.8 percent and must be increased to 78 percent. The rationale is that there are specific school districts throughout the state who receive between $12 to $13,000 per student subsidy from New York State, whereas Yonkers receives $7,500 per student. The responsibility now rests on the broad shoulders of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano to solicit Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Mano-a-Mano for a revision to the antiquated and deleterious formula that has undermined CoY. No more children, parents, and teachers being dragged to Albany for a photo opportunity that demeans Yonkers, is a public embarrassment to Gov. Cuomo, and is a failed and abhorrent display of ineptitude since the game of “chicken” began some 20 years ago. Yonkers must be deliberate in explaining the failings of the formula for Yonkers and so many other communities throughout New York State. Lest anyone is desirous to continue to delude themselves, it is after all about every student, at every school, in every municipality, in New York State.

Lastly, the funding formula is a contrivance of biases from the past that no longer serve New York State. Federal law is the guidepost by which equitable disbursement of funding must be emulated because it is fair and just. A concept long espoused by Assemblyman Nader Sayegh representing AD90. 

Editor’s Note: I am most familiar with Yonkers circumstances, but am aware that similar issues and concerns have long plagued Mount Vernon, NY, Ossining, NY, Port Chester, NY, communities on Long Island, and communities along the New York State along the Canadian border, among many more municipalities. Speaking to the concerns facing Yonkers are similar to other communities and must be balanced without emotion, is devoid of bigotry, is prudently measured with respect to financial capacity and means, and relegated by each individual school population with respect to their unique circumstances.

It is all doable by every measure. 

Identity politics must end! Solutions are long overdue.

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P.S. Slight revision appended on  Monday, April 1st.

 

eHeziTranslating the New York State FY2020 Budget With Respect to Yonkers
By HEZI ARIS

Comments 15

  1. Keep up the good work Mr. Mayor. The keyboard bottom feeders are just that. Pay no mind to them. We the people are with you kind sir.

  2. You could give the schools trillions of dollars, and it wouldnt be enough. The mayor even stated the schools account for about 66% of the total budget. Only 34% runs police, fire, dpw, city hall etc. How about some accountability in the YPS, obviously the school supt doesnt care, so its time to get rid of him and bring in somebody who can live within the budget.

    1. You are wrong. According to the City’s own website, the schools account for just under 49% of the City’s expenses. In fact, the City has higher wage costs than than YPS, 81% vs 77%. It’s time to start reducing do nothing positions within the COY, in order to bring the budget in balance.

  3. I just heard Supt. Quezada is looking to hire four positions and say it’s attrition but it’s new positions. Spanhoe needs to go since he suppported this fool.

  4. more and more kids with so-called residency in yonkers…….over crowded classes with overwhelmed teachers, that the district never has proper planning for such enrollment

  5. The answer is to cut wasteful spending and bloated administrative layers out of Yonkers BOE. Every single non-teaching job should be examined. Top to bottom extensive review needs to be conducted by joint team of independent auditors and auditors from state comptrollers office. Taxpayer extortion needs to end! Change in state aid formula is not happening anytime soon and Yonkers has zero credibility in Albany, even with Shelley, Gary and Cousins there!

    1. Great idea, but it should be implemented city-wide. Every position should be looked at to see if it brings value to the taxpayer.

  6. Great work by Mayor Spano!! He’s holding the state accountable and his campaign to gain more money for YO seems to be received well by Albany. Keep up the battle Mayor! We the moms and dads are counting on you.

    1. Where are you the moms and dads calling out Spano for the filthy streets that never get cleaned, where are you for the pot hole filled streets that look Kabul, Afghanistan-you know about Kabul Afghanistan right mom and dads-where are you asking the YBOE on how many YPHS graduates are actually college ready-where you moms and dads asking for common core results for Yonkers schools to be released, where are you asking why the bar has been lowered in order to graduate- you were complaining when the COY raised taxes 6.2% last year-the problem is you are only concerned about your own well being and nobody else-good luck you Kool Aid drinkers.

    2. Say what! “Great work by Mayor Spano”. He doesn’t care for YPS children. His kids go to private schools so he’s not affected personally.

    3. Another failed attempt by Yonkers to get more $$. State is not buying whatever you are selling! Leadership at CoY and BOE is neither trusted nor credible. Ridiculous dragging kids and parents up on buses every year! That strategy is NOT working. Time is long overdue for a new game plan. Need to show the state that there is no fat in Yonkers, by eliminating all the patronage jobs at City Hall and the no value add admin jobs at BOE and clawing back incentives from developers. Only if such austerity measures are taken will Albany be convinced that Yonkers is ready to get down to business.

  7. Dont worry about bloated staff, mayor mi Kim e CDC and the council will still give the BOE a blank check. Taxpayers…..hold onto your wallets!

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