Opening the Doors to Shared Services: Redefining Your School as Community Centers and Economic Engines
- Objective 1: State aid to support local school districts may stay close to flat for the foreseeable future.
- Objective 2: The capacity for local taxpayers of a school district to shoulder more revenue responsibility through property taxes may or may not be possible.
- Objective 3: School district communities are expecting higher measured student achievement for all students.
Empty Classrooms…Empty Buildings
- Enrollment declines are now affecting the vast majority of school districts in New York State.
- From 2000- 2010 alone, New York State has lost 3% or 90,664 students.
- According to the NYS Association for Superintendents of Buildings and Grounds, there are 3,050 public school buildings in New York State.
- According to Patterns for Progress, in the Hudson Valley more than 30 school buildings were closed between 1999 and 2012 with more to come each year.
OTHER VARIABLES AT WORK AFFECTING THE DELIVERY OF PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATION
- A. Declining community population and a declining school-age population, 2/3 of NYS population resides in 12 downstate counties;
- B. Declining job market opportunities;
- C. Rural NYS experiencing a 44% less growth in property values compared to metro areas of the State;
- D. Increasing health insurance and employee pension costs;
- E. Unfunded mandates expected of school districts;
Key Impact on Local Government:
- To contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of local governments.
- To eliminate or minimize duplication of services.
- To share resources and specialized skills.
- To improve service through timeliness, quality and cost management of common services.
- To focus on services that can be better provided through sharing or consolidating than they could by individual agencies.
So why not look at schools at part of the solution?
Converting School Facilities into a Town Center
- How many of you have declining school enrollment?
- Are you considering school closures?
- What adaptive reuse options are you considering?
- Are you considering school consolidations?
- What community based activities are you considering as potential school partnerships?