The New York State School Board Association is calling for relief from a number of mandates it says are outdated and unnecessary.
Timothy Kremer is the association's executive director. He says taxes are high because school boards are forced to operate inefficiently.
According to a report released by the association last week, there are seven key areas that the state could reform to allow schools to bring spending in line with current economic realities.
One recommendation is reform of school layoff procedures. Under the current rules, seniority is the only factor in determining layoffs. Kremer said other considerations, like annual performance reviews, the needs of the school and teacher credentials should also be taken into account.
Another recommendation is to change contract negotiations to allow school boards to freeze employee salaries. With employees receiving step increases based on years of service as well as movement into higher pay lanes based on graduate credits, there is currently little incentive for employees to renegotiate an expired contract.
The group also wants to cap health care costs to bring the state in line with the national average.
Other recommendations include stabilizing rising pension costs, reforming teacher disciplining procedures and eliminating special education mandates that exceed federal requirements.