Mandates' effects on public school budgets

WOODBURY - Mandates, or rules imposed on local schools by state and federal governments, are supposed to ensure quality education. But critics say some of these rules are unnecessary and costly to taxpayers.Some say the state has weighed down public schools with dozens of so-called mandates, like guaranteed pay raises for teachers and free transportation for private school students up to 15 miles.One law requires school districts to supply $100 calculators to math students. Another orders a teacher to be present even if kids are taking an online course, like Mandarin Chinese. And now, schools will have to find some way to pay for the state's complex new teacher evaluation program.Getting rid of certain mandates means savings for schools, but any plan to do that is likely to stir protest from teachers and parents.State legislators are now studying the issue of cutting mandates. Among the questions: How much will it save, and how will it affect kids?News 12 LI series: What's UP With School Taxes?

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