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    Entries in NYC (2)

    Monday
    Apr032017

    How to Beat Teacher Burnout: With More Education

    A continuing education program for teachers has the power to reduce attrition rates, but it's having trouble catching on.
    BY  APRIL 3, 2017

    When mathematician John Ewing started lobbying state governments to adopt a new model for keeping top teachers in the classroom, he anticipated all the usual pushback over funding and resources. One thing he didn’t anticipate was a resistance to the idea in general.

    In education right now, “the focus is on everything that’s not working," he says. By contrast, his model "invests in teachers that are doing a really good job.”

    In 2009, fellow mathematician and philanthropist Jim Simons called and asked Ewing to help him take over his fledgling nonprofit to provide continuing education for K-12 math teachers in New York City. But the organization, called Math for America (MfA), eventually evolved into a larger fellowship program aimed at cultivating and keeping top science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers in public schools.

    It’s an appealing concept at a time when keeping good teachers is becoming harder and harder.

    On average, one-third of teachers leave the profession within five years. Burnout is blamed for the short tenure. A recent report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 46 percent of teachers say they feel daily stress on a level that’s shared by doctors and lawyers.

    When teachers are that stressed, the report notes, it not only compromises their health and quality of life but also adversely impacts their teaching performance. That, in turn, can harm students' academic performance and behavior. The report recommends mentoring programs, social emotional learning and mindfulness as proven ways to improve teacher well-being and student outcomes.

    That's where MfA comes in.

    Click to read more ...

    Saturday
    Nov052016

    The Week in Public Finance: NYC's $3 Billion in Giveaways, Weak Revenues and Jacksonville's Pension Fix

    A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use.
    BY  NOVEMBER 4, 2016

    Why New York City Gave Up $3 Billion in 2016

    New York City is the first major government this year to release what it gives up in economic development-related tax incentives to corporations, following new financial reporting requirements. In its annual financial report, the city disclosed that it waived more than $3 billion in potential tax revenue in 2016 alone, mostly in uncollected property taxes.

    The tax abatements represent a little under 4 percent of the city’s nearly $80 billion in general fund revenue in fiscal 2016, which ended on June 30.

    The most expensive abatement was for the commercial conversion program, which cost nearly $1.3 billion in forgone revenue last year. The program encourages new housing in the city by offering a property tax discount on new construction or on commercial space that was converted into residential housing. Developments have to meet certain requirements, like reserving one-fifth of the units for affordable housing.

    Click to read more ...