Outmigration Draining New York's Valuable Human Resources

Student enrollment in New York’s public schools is down to nearly its lowest point in close to 30 years. The reason for the drastic drop shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone living through our state’s appalling economic conditions—people are fleeing in droves to escape sky-high taxes and the cost of living. Further compounding this unfortunate reality, education costs in the state continue to rise.
 
For those of us still here, the shrinking population yields enormous fiscal pressure. Losing taxpayers is a problem unto itself, but the ripple effect of the state’s abysmal rankings is forcing our future business leaders, public servants and entrepreneurs elsewhere. This fact is especially troublesome. New York’s greatest asset is its youngest residents; they are our future engineers, construction workers, teachers, innovators and lawmakers. And they’re leaving.
 
New York has experienced a 10 percent decrease in school enrollment since 2000, while national enrollment during that same span has risen 7 percent, according to a report from the Empire Center. In the last decade, only 100 of the state’s nearly 700 school districts have experienced net enrollment growth. As is often the case, Upstate suffered the greatest blow.
 
LEGISLATIVE SOLUTIONS COULD STOP THE BLEEDING
 
The Assembly Minority Conference has presented proposal after proposal to make living in New York easier. However, our calls have fallen on deaf ears as other states are welcoming our disenchanted taxpayers and their families. 
 
Reducing spending, reducing taxes and providing mandate relief are but a few ways our Conference has suggested we address this spiraling problem. We have proposed bills A.5942-A and A.9901 to help promote true economic growth and alleviate the tax and mandate burdens crushing New Yorkers in communities across the state, yet the Assembly Majority and the governor have done next to nothing to bring about real reform.
 
This problem will not go away on its own. We are trending in the wrong direction and there is no end in sight. We need legislative solutions, now, to fix this problem before it gets any worse. Its effects are impacting every facet of our communities, with a dwindling student population being no exception. I call upon the Assembly Majority and Gov. Cuomo to start taking action to move this state in a positive direction; they can no longer continue to allow New York’s population to erode.
 
What do you think?  I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at kolbb@nyassembly.gov, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

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