The University of the State of New York


Fiscal Analysis and Research Unit

Albany, New York 12234

December 2001


Regents of The University

Carl T. Hayden, Chancellor, A.B., J.D. Elmira

Adelaide L. Sanford, Vice Chancellor, B.A., M.A., P.D. Hollis

Diane O’Neill McGivern, B.S.N., M.A., Ph.D. . Staten Island

Saul B. Cohen, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. New Rochelle

James C. Dawson, A.A., B.A., M.S., Ph.D. Peru

Robert M. Bennett, B.A., M.S. Tonawanda

Robert M. Johnson, B.S., J.D. Huntington

Anthony S. Bottar, B.A., J.D. North Syracuse

Merryl H. Tisch, B.A., M.A. New York

Ena L. Farley, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Brockport

Geraldine D. Chapey, B.A., M.A., Ed.D. Belle Harbor

Arnold B. Gardner, B.A., LL.B. Buffalo

Charlotte K. Frank, B.B.A., M.S.Ed., Ph.D. New York

Harry Phillips, 3rd, B.A., M.S.F.S. Hartsdale

Joseph E. Bowman, Jr., B.A., M.L.S., M.A., M.Ed., Ed.D Albany

Lorraine A. CortÉs-VÁzquez, B.A., M.P.A. Bronx

President of The University and Commissioner of Education


Chief Operating Officer


Chief Information Officer


Director of Fiscal Analysis & Research



The "Analysis of School Finances in New York State School Districts" is an annual publication providing a meaningful perspective to staff in the Division of the Budget, the Legislature, the Education Department, and school officials concerning school expenditures, State Aid, and local support. This edition of the Analysis summarizes the finances of major school districts in school year 1999-00, as well as public school expenditures and State Aid since 1981-82.

In summarizing school district expenditures, the Analysis compares various percentiles of operating expenditures per pupil and describes the magnitude of the disparity in approved operating expenditures per pupil between districts in the 10th and 90th percentiles for each year. Also provided are decile tables ranked by wealth, expenditure per pupil and a need/resource index. These decile tables provide comparisons of school districts' expenditures per pupil, tax rates, and wealth per pupil.

Another feature of the Analysis is its presentation of five-year trend data on full value, expenditures, State Aid, tax rates, and local revenue. These items are displayed on a per pupil basis for the entire State, New York City and the rest of State (school districts outside New York City).

In terms of data collection, the total revenue from State sources displayed in the tables from 1981-82 through 1999-00 is the State Aid reported in the Annual Financial Report (Form ST-3) submitted by school districts. It should be noted that this data item may include prior year State Aid adjustment payments. Data for 2000-01 is based on State Aid payments to school districts and does not include some grants, prior year adjustments, and miscellaneous revenues from State sources. Total expenditures for 2000-01 are based on estimates provided by school districts. The 1999 Income data are as of September 2001. Other items contained in the Analysis are as of May 2000. Data for school years prior to 1982-83 have not been adjusted. School Tax Relief (STAR) revenue is also addressed in the report.

As in past years, an historical perspective of school finances in New York State is presented. Table 1 displays State Aid and total expenditures since 1981-82 and Appendix B contains data for school years 1944-45 through 1980-81.

To assist the reader less familiar with the technical terms used in the Analysis, a glossary of terms is provided at the end of the report.


I The Financing of Public Education in New York State

II Comparisons of Per Pupil Expenditures and Wealth by Contiguous Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)

III Comparisons of Per Pupil Expenditures and Wealth by District Rank

IV Four-Year Changes in School Finances, 1995-96 to 1999-00

Glossary: Definitions Used in this Report

Appendix A: Historic Changes in Pupil Units

Appendix B: Revenues from State Sources Compared to Total Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Schools 1944-45 to 1980-81

Appendix C: Counties by Contiguous Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) -- 1990 Census

Appendix D: District Type Groupings -- 1990 Census

Appendix E: not available




The New York State commitment to elementary and secondary education, as measured by revenues to school districts from State sources, has increased by $3.5 billion or 34.3 percent, from $10.19 billion in 1995-96 to $13.69 billion in 1999-00. While this was occurring at the State level, school districts increased local tax revenue support by $1.99 billion, a 14.1 percent increase over the same period. This overall revenue commitment by State and local governments (combined with a slight increase in federal aid) contributed to a total expenditure increase of $6.1 billion or 23.8 percent during the period. The State's percentage of participation, presently at 43.2 percent (Table 1) for 1999-00, in the expenditures of school districts over the past 25 years has varied from a 1968-69 peak of 48.1 percent to a low of 37.6 percent in 1977-78. Figures such as these compare favorably with the 1944-45 low of 31.5 percent.

New York State's capacity to fund education has fluctuated over the years depending on State or national economic prosperity. Between 1983-84 and 1988-89, the State's economic climate was improving. This resulted in generous increases in State revenue, about 10.7 percent annually. As a result, the State revenue portion of Total General and Special Aid Fund Expenditures rose to 44.2 percent for 1988-89. Due to a restructuring of the New York State Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) payments, this percentage declined to 41.6 percent for 1989-90. Even with a $257 million give-back by local districts (1990-91 State Aid to school districts was initially reduced $67 million due to restructuring of TRS and Employees' Retirement System payments and further reduced $190 million due to the December 1990 Deficit Reduction Assessment), the 1990-91 percentage rose to 42.9 percent.

As a result of the State's $6 billion budget deficit in 1991-92 and the imposition of $926 million deficit reduction assessments against school aid the proportionate share of public school expenditures funded from State sources declined to 40.4 percent. The continuing poor economic climate in 1992-93 also resulted in a $1.03 billion deficit reduction assessment against school aid, with the result that the State's share of public school expenditures declining to 39.1 percent in 1992-93. The State's share of public school expenditures continued to decline, to 38.0 percent, in 1993-94 with a -$167 million net transition adjustment. Since then, steady increases in State revenue have resulted in the State's share of total expenditures rising each year. Estimates for the 2000-01 school year with continued aid adjustments and with School Tax Relief (STAR) added to the calculation of State revenues, indicate a State share of 45.8 percent, substantially above the 19-year average (1981-82 to 1999-00) of 41.0 percent.

A review of Table 1 (and Appendix B) reveals that State revenue has paralleled the State's economic climate. In the latter 1970's, the State provided relatively modest aid increases to schools caused in part by the economic adjustment to higher energy costs and inflation. As energy costs declined and economic activity within the State and nation rebounded, the State moved to incorporate new initiatives and continue support for excellence in education. In fact, the State revenue portion of total expenditures increased from 39.3 percent in the 1981-82 school year to 44.2 percent in 1988-89, the highest State share since 1970-71 (see Figure 1). State revenue as a percentage of total expenditures generally declined from 1991-92 to 1993-94, but has generally increased since then.

 This chart shows that state aid increased to 46 percent of school district revenue in the 1999-2000school year.

Although final data for 2000-01 will not be available until next Summer, preliminary information in Table 1 shows that Total General and Special Aid Fund Expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools are expected to increase $2.13 billion for 2000-01 to $33.84 billion, a 6.7 percent increase over 1999-00. However, total State revenue including STAR in the same period is likely to increase by about $1.82 billion (13.3 percent) to $15.51 billion.

The impact of the State revenue and total expenditure increases experienced during the last 20 years was further enhanced by enrollment declines which continued without interruption from 1973-74 until 1989-90, at which time enrollment increases began.

Table 2 accounts for these enrollment changes by depicting total expenditures and State revenues on a per enrolled pupil basis for school years 1981-82 to 2000-01. As Table 2 and Figure 2 illustrate, Total General and Special Aid Fund Expenditures per pupil increased from $3,933 in 1981-82 to $11,020 in 1999-00, a 181 percent increase over the entire period and an annual percentage increase per pupil of 5.9 percent. Increases in State revenue (including STAR starting in 1998-99) per pupil reflected a similar trend, increasing from $1,544 in 1981-82 to $4,759 in 1999-00, a 209 percent increase over the same time span, and an annual percentage increase of 6.5%.

This chart shows that total expenditures per pupil rose to $11,020 and state revenue per pupil rose to $4,759 in 1999-2000. The estimated 2000-01 Total General and Special Aid Fund Expenditures per enrolled pupil are $11,706, an increase of $686 (6.2 percent) over the 1999-00 school year. During this same period, State revenue including School Tax Relief (STAR) is expected to increase by $607 per enrolled pupil to $5,366, a 12.8 percent increase from the 1999-00 school year.

Table 3 contains a breakdown of total revenues and includes General and Special Aid Fund Revenues by funding source. State revenue, Federal revenue and local tax and other revenues are listed over the past 20 years. As noted in the table, State revenue includes School Tax Relief (STAR) starting in 1998-99. Revenues come primarily from local taxes and other sources (51.5 percent in 1999-00) and State revenue (43.9 percent of total in 1999-00); Federal revenue was $1.43 billion in 1999-00, which amounted to only 4.6 percent of total revenues.

Table 3 and Figure 3 also show that Total General and Special Aid Fund Revenues increased from $10.96 billion in 1981-82 to $31.2 billion in 1999-00, an increase of 185 percent, while State revenue increased from $4.27 billion to $13.69 billion, or 220 percent over the same period. At the same time, local and other revenues increased from $6.26 billion to $16.08 billion, a 157 percent increase; Federal revenues increased from $427 million to $1,430 million, a 235 percent increase over this period.

This chart shows that total revenue increased to $31.2 billion in 1999-2000. State revenue was $13.7 billion, Local revenue was $16.1 billion and federal revenue was $1.4 billion. Current estimates indicate that Federal revenue will be approximately $1.50 billion in 2000-01, but will comprise only 4.5 percent of total revenues. It is estimated that the proportion of total revenues from State sources including School Tax Relief (STAR) will increase to 46.6 percent for the 2000-01 school year while amounting to $15.51 billion. Local tax and other revenues are expected to increase by almost $200 million to $16.27 billion, and their proportionate share of total revenues will decrease by 2.6 percentage points to 48.9 percent.




This section describes the variation in expenditures and resources among the contiguous Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) of the State and among school districts of different types, based on definitions from the 1990 Census. Appendix C depicts the counties in each contiguous MSA and Appendix D the district type classification of school district. While the variation in statewide expenditure and revenue per pupil has been substantial over time, dramatic differences in expenditure and resource data also exist among the different geographic regions at any given point in time.

Table 4 (based on the 1990 definition of MSAs) shows that the NY Metro - Long Island area has by far the highest average Actual Value/TWPU (Total Wealth Pupil Units), AOE/TAPU (Approved Operating Expense/Total Aidable Pupil Units) for Expense, Total Expenditure/TAPU for Expense and Tax Revenue (excluding STAR)/TAPU for Expense of the contiguous MSAs. This region also has the highest Income/TWPU and Income/Tax Return. The non-MSA districts are lowest on Income/TWPU, Income/Tax Return, STAR Revenue/TAPU for Expense and Tax Rate per $1,000 Actual Value; accordingly they have the highest averages among the regions on other State revenue/TAPU for Expense. The Binghamton-Elmira region has the lowest enrollment and the lowest average AV/TWPU, AOE/TAPU for Expense, Total Expenditure/TAPU for Expense, and Tax Revenue per TAPU for Expense. This region has the second highest average Tax Rate (excluding STAR) per $1,000 Actual Value and the highest average STAR Revenue/TAPU for Expense.

Table 4 also displays wealth, expenditure, and aid data in another fashion -- on the basis of pupil weighted averages for districts grouped by type. These type groupings are: 1) All Major Districts; 2) New York City; 3) Other Big 5 City School Districts; 4) Small City School Districts; 5) Suburban Districts; and, 6) Other School Districts. By comparing individual districts to both the decile groupings in Section III as well as the classification groups listed, a larger picture of the district's relative status can be gained.

As Table 4 reveals, the mean AOE/TAPU for Expense for all major districts is $6,900. New York City spends $6,181 per pupil. The other Big 5 City School Districts have an average AOE/TAPU for Expense of $7,003 (district spending per pupil ranges from $5,600 in Syracuse to $8,427 in Yonkers). The Small City Districts have an average AOE/TAPU for Expense of $6,780 with the 50 Upstate districts averaging $6,387 per pupil and the 7 Downstate districts averaging $8,958 per pupil. The Suburban Districts have an average expenditure of $7,663 per pupil with the 271 Upstate districts and the 169 Downstate districts spending $6,272 and $9,201 per pupil, respectively. The 178 Other districts have an average AOE/TAPU for Expense of $6,182.

Table 5 compares contiguous MSAs (1990 Census definition) on changes from 1995-96 to 1999-00 in Total Wealth Pupil Units (TWPU), Actual Value per TWPU, and Income per TWPU. The non-MSA districts had the largest increase in Income/TWPU and the second largest increase in AV/TWPU. The NY Metro-Long Island region had the largest increase in AV/TWPU and largest increase in TWPU. Statewide, AV/TWPU increased 4.91 percent and Income/TWPU increased 24.75%. Statewide, TWPU increased 5.38 percent, with the Binghamton/Elmira MSA decreasing the most on average. The Buffalo-Rochester Jamestown MSA had the smallest increase in Income/TWPU. It is important to note that the currency of the Market Value Standard used to convert locally assessed property values to a uniform full value standard remained the same during the reporting period: the 1995 standard was set at January 1994 (a gap of 12 months) and the 1999 standard is January 1999 (no gap).

Table 6 compares contiguous MSAs (based on the 1990 Census definition of MSAs) on changes in AOE/TAPU for Expense, Tax Revenue/TAPU for Expense and Tax Rate per $1,000 of Actual Value for the 1995-96 to 1999-00 period. Since 1998-99, Tax Revenue and Tax Rate exclude STAR Revenue. Statewide, the percent change in Tax Rate was 0.06 percent with increases only for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy-Glens Falls MSA and the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh MSA. Statewide, AOE/TAPU for Expense and Tax Revenue increased 13.11 percent and 4.19 percent respectively over the four-year period. Non-MSA districts had the largest percent increase in AOE/TAPU for Expense. The smallest percent increase in AOE/TAPU for Expense was in the Syracuse-Utica-Rome MSA. The largest percent decrease in Tax Rate occurred in the Binghamton-Elmira MSA. If New York City were excluded from the NY Metro-Long Island MSA, the remaining region would have the largest decrease in Tax Rate. As shown in Table 16 New York City had an 16.2 percent increase in AOE/TAPU for Expense, a 22.8 percent increase in Tax Revenue/TWPU and a 19.5 percent increase in Tax Rate.

Table 7 shows the wide range in school district expenditure patterns based on AOE/TAPU for Expense among the contiguous MSAs (based on the 1990 Census definitions) when compared to the statewide 25th percentile ($5,854) and 75th percentile ($8,286). The NY Metro-Long Island MSA contains by far the largest number and percent of school districts with AOE/TAPU for Expense above the 75th percentile; 145 of the 178 school districts in the region, or 81 percent, had expenditures above the 75th percentile. This contiguous MSA had one school district below the 25th percentile of spending. In most of the other contiguous MSAs and in non-MSA districts, the number of districts in excess of the 75th percentile was extremely small. Each of these contiguous MSAs and the non-MSA districts had substantially higher numbers of districts with AOE/TAPU for Expense less than the 25th percentile.



Section III is designed to highlight the relationship between school district wealth and expenditure per pupil. A useful technique for portraying this relationship is first to rank order all districts in terms of their Approved Operating Expenditures per Total Aidable Pupil Unit for Expense (AOE/TAPU for Expense) from the lowest to the highest spending district. This array can then be split into 10 equally numbered groups, or deciles, and each of the expenditure deciles thus created can be described in terms of selected measures of district wealth as determined by Actual Value per Total Wealth Pupil Unit (AV/TWPU) and Income per Total Wealth Pupil Unit (Income/TWPU). The resulting decile tables (Tables 9 through 12) provide a quick comparison of school districts with similar approved operating expenditures per pupil and the degree to which changes in wealth are associated with changes in expenditure per TAPU.

Table 8 provides a comparison of AOE/TAPU for Expense, by selected district percentiles. As noted, Total Aidable Pupil Units (TAPU) was used for school years 1973-74 through 1979-80; and since 1981-82, TAPU for Expense, which includes weightings for students with disabilities, has been the pupil measure. The percentile values displayed (10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th) are for all major school districts excluding New York City. New York City data are shown separately. Table 8 also displays the difference between the 90th and 10th percentiles, and the resulting expenditure gap expressed as a percent of the 10th percentile value. This expenditure gap measure can be viewed as a simple equality measure, with high values indicative of greater spending inequality among districts. As the last column of this table indicates, this expenditure gap generally grew into the 90's with a few exceptions, and has been decreasing since the 1991-92 school year. At 84.5 percent, the 1999-00 expenditure gap is the smallest of the 19 years displayed.

Between the 1998-99 and 1999-00 school years, the median (50th percentile) district AOE per TAPU for Expense increased 5.4 percent or $337. For the 10th percentile district, the change was an increase of $270 or 5.2 percent; for the 90th percentile district, the per pupil change was an increase of $297 or 3.0 percent.

Over the 19-year period, the median approved operating expenditure per weighted pupil has increased by about 181 percent; however, the expenditure gap over the same period has increased by 142 percent.

In 1980-81, the method of computing the pupil count was changed to include weighted students with disabilities. Since there are a relatively large number of students with disabilities in New York City, this method of calculation has served to inflate New York City's pupil count, thus lowering their AOE per weighted pupil figures. From school year 1980-81 to the present, New York City's AOE per pupil has steadily declined relative to the median, dropping below it in 1991-92 and falling below the 25th percentile in 1996-97. In 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-00 New York City's AOE per pupil is above the 25th percentile.

For Tables 9 through 12, districts were ranked respectively on Expenditure (AOE/TAPU for Expense), Property Wealth (AV/TWPU), Income Wealth (Income/TWPU) and a Need/Resource Index. Based on the ranking value for a given table, the State's 679 major districts (excluding New York City) were divided into ten decile groupings. (A district could conceivably be in a different decile group on each table.) Each table displays the highest value for each decile group on the ranking measure as well as the decile average for the ranking measure and eight other data measures, plus the 1999-00 enrollment (see Glossary for definition). State averages and New York City values for each data measure are also described at the bottom of each table.

The decile rankings of Tables 9, 10 and 11 permit the reader to compare individual school district information in a number of ways; it can be compared to other districts within its decile group, to other decile groups, or to the State average. For example, referring to Table 9, a district with a 1999-00 AOE/TAPU for Expense of $6,900 would fall in the lowest sixth expenditure decile (between $6,565 and $6,986). A district at or below $5,489 would fall in the lowest spending first decile. With an AOE/TAPU for Expense of $6,181, New York City would fall in the fourth decile, if the deciles had included New York City. The average AV/TWPU for the third AOE/TAPU for Expense decile grouping was $178,421 and the average Total Expenditure/TAPU for Expense was $7,866 for this same group of districts.

In a review of the three decile tables, attention should be drawn to the fact that all three ranking measures are positively skewed, since their respective State averages are heavily influenced by the extremely high values associated with districts in the ninth and tenth deciles. Thus, for example, the pupil weighted State average AOE/TAPU for Expense (including NYC) of $6,900 shown in Table 9 falls into the sixth decile of expense, well above the AOE/TAPU for Expense of the district at the 50th percentile of expense ($6,564 per pupil). This is due to the pronounced effect of the more extreme per pupil spending patterns in the highest spending decile. This phenomenon is particularly pronounced in the case of Income/TWPU (shown in Table 11) since the statewide average of $110,400 per pupil is well above the 50th percentile maximum value of $75,489. Once again, this is attributable to the unusually high per pupil income of school districts in the tenth decile of income wealth.

The School Tax Relief (STAR) program started in 1998-99. Tables 9, 10 and 11 show State revenue to school districts under the STAR program on a per pupil basis. Generally, lower spending and lower wealth districts receive less STAR/TAPU for Expense. Consistent with past issues of this report, Other Revenue from State/TAPU for Expense does not include State revenue for STAR.

For Table 12, districts are ranked using a Need/Resource Index. The need/resource index is designed to measure each district's (or decile's) student need in relation to its capacity to raise local revenues, indexed to State averages.

Need is based on the Extraordinary Needs (EN) percent, which has been used to calculate Extraordinary Needs Aid since 1993-94, compared to the State average EN percent. The EN percent is a ratio of the lunch count, sparsity count and limited English proficient pupils to the district enrollment. The Resource measure is based on the Combined Wealth Ratio (CWR), used in the calculation of Operating Aid since 1984-85. The CWR is based equally on property wealth per pupil compared to the State average and income wealth per pupil compared to the State average.

In order to measure each district's extraordinary student need relative to its wealth, the EN percent, compared to the State average, was divided by the Combined Wealth Ratio. The resulting index value was then used to array the 679 major districts in the State (excluding NYC) into the ten ascending decile groups in the table. Districts with relatively low needs and high resources will fall in the first decile. Districts (or district decile groups) that serve relatively high percentages of students with Extraordinary Needs but have limited resources available to address the need (a low Combined Wealth Ratio) would have a very high need/resource index. Had New York City been included in the ranking, with an index of 1.685, it would fall into the 8th decile.

A review of the table indicates that high Need/Resource Index districts generally have lower property and income wealth than the State average. They generally spend (AOE and Total Expenditures per pupil) less than the State average and raise less per pupil in local tax revenue. High need districts tend to receive less STAR revenue per pupil than low need districts. They receive more Other State Revenue per pupil than low need districts.



This section contains longitudinal information concerning total pupils, key expenditure categories, school district taxes and other revenues, actual valuation and personal income. Each of these items of information is presented by Total State, New York City and Rest of State. Percent changes for year-to-year increments, as well as over the four-year period, are shown also. Table 13 contains five pupil counts. Table 14 contains gross financial amounts, which are then presented on a per-pupil basis in Tables 15 and 16. In this fashion, trends can be reviewed; State totals are analyzed including and excluding New York City. Data in Tables 13 through 16 include major districts only.

Over the four-year period, the Total Aidable Pupil Units (TAPU) for Expense, displayed in Table 13, have increased 6.1 percent in the State. The number of enrolled pupils has increased in each of the last four years. The changes in the definition of TAPU make year-to-year comparisons of TAPU with enrollment difficult unless the changes in definition and their impact are reviewed (See Glossary for changes in definition). For example, a significant change in the 1992-93 pupil counts was the legislated change in definition to exclude students with disabilities attending private and State operated schools. Yearly percentage increases in all pupil counts for New York City have been greater than in the Rest of State except for enrollment in 1997-98 and 1998-99, Resident Weighted Average Daily Attendance in 1998-99 and all counts in 1999-00.

Total General and Special Aid Fund Expenditures shown in Table 14 have increased every year for both Rest of State districts and New York City. In 1999-00, total expenditures increased 7.1 percent statewide. Over the four-year period, total expenditures increased 23.8 percent.

Approved operating expenditures over the four-year period increased 26.0 percent in New York City, and 17.2 percent in the Rest of State school districts. Statewide, approved operating expenditures increased 5.3 percent in 1999-00.

Similar to total expenditures, instructional expenses increased in each year. In 1997-98, New York City’s instructional expenses increased 11.3 percent over 1996-97 while over the four-year period they increased 30.4 percent.

Statewide, debt service increased 14.5 percent for 1999-00, continuing strong increases in three of the last four years. New York City's debt service increases starting in 1991-92 are due, in large measure, to the creation of the New York City School Construction Authority. Over the past four years debt service for New York City and statewide increased 40.2 percent and 35.8 percent, respectively.

Total Revenue from State sources (including STAR Revenue starting in 1998-99) in 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-00 reflect reductions of $349 million, $390 million, $354 million, $335 million and $395 million respectively, due to transition adjustments. From 1995-96 to 1999-00, total State revenue increased by 35.6 percent for Rest of State districts and by 31.8 percent for New York City.

During the 1995-96 to 1999-00 period, school district local tax and other revenues (excluding STAR starting in 1998-99) for non-New York City districts increased 7.1 percent, a total increase of approximately $0.71 billion. Local tax and other revenues in New York City increased by 31.8 percent, $1.25 billion, over the same period.

Property value and income data form the basis upon which most State Aid to school districts is distributed. School districts having increases in actual value per pupil or income per pupil in excess of the State average would receive less formula operating aid per pupil. Between 1986-87 and 1991-92, the yearly percent increases in actual value registered in double digits. This steep increase was due to a general rise in property values and was also due in part to steps taken by the NYS Office of Real Property Services to reduce the lag between the full value standard date and the assessment roll date that had been allowed to develop during the early 1980's. The lag was reduced incrementally from 54 months (in 1985) to 12 months (starting in 1993). The lag increased to 24 months for the 1996 actual value and dropped to 12 months for the 1997 actual value. Beginning with 1999 equalization rates, the lag drops to 0 months. There is an additional lag between the assessment roll date and the use of valuation data for school aid. For example, the 1996 assessment roll data converted to actual value on the basis of a January 1994 equalization rate standard were used in the calculation of 1999-00 aid, a 5 year lag from the full value standard of the rate to the aid year (1994 to 1999-00). Income data is more current, with 1996 calendar year income used for 1999-00 school aid. The 1996 legislation specified the use of 1994 actual value and income for 1997-98 aid in order to allow for the use of more final data for the State's budgeting purposes. This added one more year to the lag starting with 1997-98 school aid.

In 1999-00, actual value increased an average of 6.5 percent for the year, while personal income increased 8.2 percent. Over the four-year period, personal income increased by 31.5 percent for the State, while actual value increased by 10.6 percent.

Table 15 displays per pupil (Combined Adjusted Average Daily Membership) averages of the first six data elements contained in Table 14. Total General and Special Aid Fund Expenditures per Pupil, Approved Operating Expenditures per Pupil and Instructional Expense per Pupil roughly parallel each other since 1995-96 with annual percentage increases in New York City slightly higher than those for the Rest of State (starting in 1997-98). Debt service per pupil increased in New York City in each year while, in the Rest of State, debt service decreased in 1996-97, but increased in 1995-96, 1997-98 and 1998-99. The percentage increase in total revenue from State sources (including STAR starting in 1998-99) per pupil for New York City outpaced the Rest of State in the first two years. On a statewide-basis, over the four-year period, total State revenues per pupil increased 29.4 percent while Total Expenditures per pupil increased 19.3 percent.

Local tax and other revenues (excluding STAR starting in 1998-99) per pupil increased each year, except in Rest of State in 1998-99 and 1999-00. Over the four-year period, local tax and other revenues per pupil increased 9.9 percent.

Table 16 also displays yearly per pupil averages based on the data elements contained in Table 14, but in this instance, by using pupil counts traditionally used for State Aid purposes. Personal income per TWPU increased by 24.8 percent over the four-year period. Since 1995-96, the percent changes for New York City and Rest of State generally reflect the percent changes in personal income. Except in 1995-96 and 1999-00, New York City's average income per TWPU is less than the State average.

In contrast, New York City's average actual value per TWPU was lower than the State average each year. New York City's average actual value per RWADA also was lower than the State average in each year. Over the four-year period, the State average actual value per TWPU and actual value per RWADA have increased 4.9 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively.

The State average tax rate decreased 2.9 percent in 1999-00 due to a 5.1 percent decrease in Rest of State. Part of the reason is that STAR revenues are not counted as local tax and other revenues.

The percent increases in Approved Operating Expense per TAPU for Expense generally follow the trend in Approved Operating Expense per CAADM shown in Table 15.

Local tax and other revenues (excluding STAR starting in 1998-99) per TWPU increased 9.6 percent in New York City in 1999-00 while Rest of State stayed flat.


Definitions Used in This Report

Actual Valuation of Taxable Real Property (AV): Total assessed valuation of property on the tax rolls within the district adjusted by the State equalization rate determined for such rolls. Data are obtained from the NYS Office of Real Property Services, through the Office of the State Comptroller.

Adjusted Average Daily Attendance (AADA): Adjusted Average Daily Attendance is the same as Average Daily Attendance (ADA) except half-day kindergarten ADA is weighted at .50 and is an average for the school year. Unadjusted ADA is the unweighted ADA for the school year.

Approved Operating Expenditures (AOE): Approved Operating Expenditures (AOE) are the operating expenditures for the day-to-day operation of the school as defined in Education Law. Not included are expenditures for building construction, transportation of pupils, some expenditures made to purchase services from a Board of Cooperative Educational Services or County Vocational Education and Extension Board, tuition payments to other districts, and expenditures for programs which do not conform to law or regulation. Money received as Federal aid revenue, proceeds of borrowing, and State aid for special programs are first deducted from total annual expenditures when approved operating expenditures are computed. For 1989-90, AOE was adjusted to include the TRS expense that would have been incurred without restructuring. Starting with 1992-93, AOE excludes expenditures for students with disabilities in private and State operated (Rome and Batavia) schools.

Average Daily Attendance (ADA): This pupil count is the average number of pupils present on each regular school day in a given period, an average determined by dividing the total number of attendance days of all pupils by the number of days school was in session. ADA for a group of classes or schools in session for varying numbers of days is obtained by adding together the ADA for each group. In addition, adjustments are made for the adverse effects of religious holidays on attendance. Equivalent secondary attendance of students under 21 years of age who are not on a regular day school register is added to adjusted ADA in calculating TAPU and TWPU beginning in school year 1984-85. For students 21 years of age and older, refer to the definition of Employment Preparation Education Aid. Starting in 1992-93, the attendance of pupils attending private and State operated (Rome and Batavia) schools for students with disabilities is excluded from ADA. Starting in 1999-00, charter school pupils are added to ADA.

Combined Adjusted Average Daily Membership (CAADM): This pupil count consists of the average number of students receiving their educational program at district expense. It is the sum of: students enrolled in district programs (half-day kindergarten pupil weighted at 0.5); students with disabilities educated in BOCES full-time; students with disabilities educated in nonpublic schools including the State schools at Rome and Batavia; equivalent attendance; and prekindergarten enrollment weighted at 0.5. Since 1990-91, it includes resident students attending another public school. Since 1997-98, it includes incarcerated youth.

Contiguous MSAs: Contain two adjacent MSAs (See Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Appendix C).

Debt Service: Debt Service is a combination of principal and interest on approved building projects, transportation issues and other debt instruments, both short- and long-term.

Deciles: Deciles are composed of 10 percent of the major school districts in New York State (for 1999-00, 68 school districts). The deciles exclude New York City. For example, decile 1 would contain the lowest 68 districts in a category; the value listed as the upper limit is the maximum value (10th percentile) for the group.

Employment Preparation Education (EPE) Aid: Pupils 21 years of age and older who have not received a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma and attend employment education programs leading to a high school diploma or high school equivalency are eligible for aid under Employment Preparation Education (EPE). Aid is provided on a current year basis and is calculated based on the statewide average per pupil expenditure and an actual value aid ratio.

Enrollment/Enrolled Pupils: The total number of students entered on the roll as of the date in the fall on which data for the Basic Educational Data System are collected for the current year, including equivalent attendance and students attending full-time programs for the disabled in BOCES or nonpublic schools. In addition, prekindergarten and half-day kindergarten enrollments are weighted at 0.5. Since 1992-93, it excludes students attending private and State operated (Rome and Batavia) schools for students with disabilities. Starting in 1999-00, charter school pupils are added to enrollment.

Evening School ADA: Evening School ADA was the ADA generated by half-day equivalent attendance in an approved program during the evening hours in school years prior to 1984-85 by individuals who were sixteen years of age or older. Such programs were approved by the Commissioner and lead to a high school diploma or its equivalent. The additional weighting for evening school pupils of .50 was in effect through 1984-85. (See the Average Daily Attendance definition above for attendance not on a regular day school register.)

Federal Revenue: All revenues received from the Federal Government directly or through the State Education Department in the Special Aid Fund and includes Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) and other Federal revenues received in the General Fund.

Instructional Expense (IE): The calculation of IE, defined in subdivision 11-a of Section 3602 of Education Law and enumerated in Commissioner's Regulations 175.39 (revised 9/92), requires the summation of school district expenses which are identified in the Commissioner's Regulations as instructional plus a prorated share of fringe benefit expenses. Examples of the expenses included are: teachers' salaries, other instructional salaries, fringe benefits related to instruction, tuition expenditures, Special Aid Fund instructional expenditures, and other expenditures related to instruction, including BOCES instructional expenditures.

Local Tax and Other Revenues: Tax revenues are described below. Other revenues are any local funds other than real property taxes or non-property taxes such as a sales tax or utility tax; they may include interest income, fees, tuition, etc. Starting in 1998-99, STAR revenue is excluded.

Major School Districts: Major School Districts are school districts having eight or more teachers, exclusive of institutional (special act) school districts.

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA): A MSA has one or more central counties containing the area's main population concentration: an urbanized area with at least 50,000 inhabitants. A MSA may also include outlying counties which have close economic and social relationships with the central counties. The outlying counties must have a specified level of commuting to the central counties and must also meet certain standards regarding metropolitan character, such as population density, urban population and population growth. The MSAs are designated and defined by the Federal government's Office of Management and Budget (OMB). (Material for the 1990 definitions was obtained from Metropolitan Areas 1993, Lists I-IV, OMB, Statistical Policy Office, June 1993.)

Minor School Districts: Minor School Districts are school districts with fewer than eight teachers, including those districts contracting 100 percent with other districts for the education of all their students, and institutional (special act) districts.

Pupils with Special Educational Needs (PSEN): The ADA of Pupils with Special Educational Needs is determined by multiplying the composite percentage of pupils scoring below minimum competence on the third- and sixth-grade reading and mathematics Pupil Evaluation Program tests by the district's combined adjusted ADA to produce the number of pupils for weighting. Prior to 1978-79, the average was based on the 1971 and 1972 sixth-grade reading and mathematics tests. From 1978-79 through 1983-84, the average was based on the 1974 and 1975 third- and sixth-grade reading and mathematics tests. Beginning in school year 1984-85, the average was based on tests administered in 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980. Beginning in school year 1986-87, the average was based on tests administered in the Spring of 1983 and 1984. Beginning in school year 1988-89, the average was based on tests administered in the Spring of 1985 and 1986. The weighting for eligible pupils is .25 pupil units.

Resident Weighted Average Daily Attendance (RWADA): RWADA is calculated by subtracting the WADA of non-resident pupils attending public school in the district from the district's WADA and adding the WADA of pupils resident in the district but attending full-time a school operated by a Board of Cooperative Educational Services or a county vocational education and extension board, or another public school district.

Secondary School Pupil Weighting: Secondary school ADA not otherwise weighted are eligible for an additional weight of .25. Secondary PSEN ADA (pupils with special educational needs) are eligible for an additional weight of .15 beginning in 1978-79 and a weighting of .25 beginning in 1980-81. Beginning in school year 1988-89 (aid year), Big Five occupational education pupils are no longer excluded from the additional .25 weighting for secondary.

Small City Districts: Small Cities School Districts are fiscally independent school districts located entirely or mainly within a city which had a population of less than 125,000. Prior to 1986-87 these districts had tax limits of 1.25 percent, 1.50 percent, 1.75 percent, or 2.00 percent of the five-year average Full Value. A Constitutional Amendment enacted in 1985 eliminated, as of the 1986-87 school year, the tax limits for school districts in cities with less than 125,000 population. Legislation enacted in 1997 allowed residents to vote on their school budgets.

Special Aid Fund: Since 1974-75, expenditures in this fund are for the majority of a school district's Federal funds for specific programs. Beginning with the 1987-88 school year, it also includes certain State aid programs such as Improving Pupil Performance (IPP) and Categorical Reading.

Students with Disabilities: Pupils resident of the district and attending special services or programs in public schools and BOCES, with additional weightings assigned as follows: pupils attending special services or programs 60 percent or more of the school day, 1.7; pupils in special services or programs 20 percent or more of the school week, .9; and pupils in special services or programs two periods or more of the school week, .13. Beginning with school year 1988-89 (aid year), pupils receiving direct and indirect consultant teacher services are assigned an additional .8 weighting; beginning in 1994-95 (aid year), their weighting is increased to .9. In 1998-99 (aid year), the .13 weighting was eliminated.

Summer School ADA: This is the ADA of pupils attending approved programs of instruction operated by the district during the months of July and August of the base year in accordance with the Commissioner's Regulations. The summer school weighting is .12.

Tax Rate: The tax revenue or local tax and other revenue divided by the actual valuation of real property, expressed as a rate per $1,000 of actual valuation. Starting in 1998-99, STAR revenue is excluded.

Tax Revenues: Local revenues raised by taxation for school purposes, including property and non-property tax revenues. For the Big 5 City School Districts in the decile and contiguous MSA tables, and for New York City in general, tax revenue is Total General Fund Revenue minus non-tax revenues. Starting in 1998-99, STAR revenue is excluded.

Total Aidable Pupil Units (TAPU): The pupil measure for Operating Aid which includes combined adjusted ADA (weighted for half-day kindergarten), weighted pupils with special educational needs, weighted summer school pupils, dual enrollment pupils, and additional pupils weighted for secondary school. Aidable evening school pupils were included in TAPU through the 1984-85 school year. For Operating Aid, one year older ADA, adjusted by an enrollment index, is used.

Total Aidable Pupil Units for Expense (TAPU for Expense): TAPU for Expense is used to compute the approved operating expense per pupil. This is the same definition as TAPU except it includes weightings for students with disabilities and does not use enrollment index-adjusted ADA.

Total General and Special Aid Fund Expenditures (Total Expenditures): These are the expenditures and transfers for the total school program from a district's Total General, Debt Service, and Special Aid Funds. For 1990-91 and 1991-92, the State aid withheld as a State share of local Teachers' Retirement System and Employees' Retirement System savings was excluded.

Total Personal Income: The adjusted gross personal income, including results from the income verification process, as reported by the Department of Taxation and Finance.

Total Revenue from State Sources: The sum total of all State aid paid to school districts pursuant to State Education Law, principally Sections 3602, 1950, 701, 711, 751 and 3609, and to related portions of the unconsolidated laws as reported on the Annual Financial Report (ST-3) by school districts. For 1990-91 and 1991-92, the State aid withheld as a State share of local Teachers' Retirement System and Employees' Retirement System savings was included. Starting in 1998-99, State revenues include School Tax Relief (STAR).

Total Wealth Pupil Units (TWPU): TWPU is based upon the AADA of pupils resident in the district plus weightings for PSEN, students with disabilities and secondary school pupils.

Wealth: School district wealth is determined by Actual Value per TWPU and/or Income per TWPU. Relative wealth can be calculated by dividing district Actual Value per TWPU by the State average and Income per TWPU by the State average. Wealth for computing Building, BOCES, Hardware and Transportation Aids is based on Actual Value per RWADA.

Weighted Average Daily Attendance (WADA): WADA is determined by applying the following weightings to the average daily attendance: half-day kindergarten, .50; full day kindergarten and grades one through six, 1.00; grades seven through twelve, 1.25. Beginning with 1988-89 data, the selection of best attendance periods (4 of 8, or 5 of 10) was eliminated.

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