Archive for November 21st, 2012

November 21, 2012

Quick links – SUNY tuition increases, GWU gets unranked, teachers’ union makes concessions

by Grace

——  ‘SUNY to ask state for $1.97 billion, a 13% increase’ (lohud.com)

  • Governor Cuomo asked New York State agencies to “estimate zero growth in their budget proposals”.
  • SUNY is asking for a 13% budget increase from the state.
  • In-state undergraduate tuition will increase by about 5%

SUNY’s proposed budget asks for increases of $134 million for university hospitals, $53 million for the system’s four-year colleges and administration, and $37.3 million for community colleges.

According to the board resolution, the system needs increased funding so it can “meet the ongoing costs of current operations, preserve gains in academic quality, achieve excellence and serve the State of New York to the greatest degree possible.”

Politi-speak:

“Generally speaking, people ask for a little more than they think they are going to get,” said Assembly Higher Education Committee chairwoman Deborah Glick, D-Manhattan. “That doesn’t mean that they are not asking for exactly what they need. You don’t always get what you need.”


——  ‘U.S. News Strips George Washington of its Ranking Due to Cheating’ (TaxProf Blog)

From #51 to unranked

George Washington University is now unranked by U.S. News and World Report, following a disclosure earlier this month that it had misreported statistics about the academic achievement of its incoming freshmen.

On the basis of the incorrect data, GWU was No. 51 in the publication’s latest vaunted list of best colleges in the nation, which was published in September. That ranking was higher than the university deserved, U.S. News chief ranker Bob Morse wrote on his blog on Wednesday.

Students are understandably unhappy.

”Students are very, very worried about this,” said Scheckter, 21. ”They are worried about graduating, applying to graduate school having a degree from a university that is now ranked the same as the University of Phoenix, which, no offense to them, is not the same institution. A lot of people pay a hell of a lot of money to come here, thinking they will get a degree from a top 50 university.”

Ranking is based on many factors that can be manipulated and may have no bearing on the quality of a school, but most of us still pay attention to the lists.  I think rankings offer a short-hand way of looking at college quality, albeit in a general and sometimes superficial way.  And some of the data compiled as part of the ranking is useful information in evaluating colleges.


——  Baby steps – teachers’ union in Westchester County agrees to wage freeze and increased health premium contribution

After 16 months of negotiations, the Mamaroneck school board and the teachers’ union have reached an agreement that reduces salary increases for teachers — including a two-year wage freeze — while raising their health premium contributions and eliminating a contractual retirement-recognition payment.

The new agreement, which covers five academic years from 2011-16, contains a freeze on wages from 2012-14, as well as increased instructional time for students.

Under its terms, base pay increases will be held at 2 percent for years 2014 through 2016. The contribution to health-insurance payments will go from 7 percent to 8 percent in the 2015-16 year.

In the private sector, the average percent of health premium paid by employees is 16% for individual coverage and 27% for family coverage. 

A contractual retirement-recognition payment, amounting to 25 percent of each retiring teacher’s salary, has been eliminated beginning in 2013-14 for all new hires. It cost the district more than $1.5 million in the last three years, Pierson said.

The new contract also calls for an increase in student instructional time, with Hommocks Middle School getting up to 20 minutes more per day and the high school up to 15 minutes more per day. At the elementary level, time with students will be increased by 30 minutes per week.

Schools, union reach agreement (lohud.com)

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