Editorial: Automatic teacher raises a wild card for districts

Classrooms across Long Island were empty on Thursday. Classrooms across Long Island were empty on Thursday. Check our listings of delayed openings, closures and cancellations to see what's in store for Friday. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

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16 -- That's how many of Long Island's 124 school districts face financial stress, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said last week. Bay Shore and Sachem are under significant stress. The other 14 are under moderate fiscal stress or at risk of it. That's no surprise, thanks to the property tax cap. And more districts will likely be added to the list over time. In many places, thanks largely to automatic "step" increases in teacher pay, costs aren't being held down as firmly as taxes. The stress on districts' finances will increase until they are.

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