Statement of NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer on the 2014 legislative session
FOR RELEASE: June 23, 2014
CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 783-3716 or (518) 320-2221 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards
As the dust settles on this year’s legislative session, we should measure state lawmakers by one yardstick: Did they help schools improve student achievement and the quality of instruction?
By that measure, lawmakers took several major strides forward. They provided a large funding boost to schools, expanded access to early childhood education, and adopted a bond proposal to meet educational technology needs.
But they left some unfinished business: abolishing the Gap Elimination Adjustment and adopting additional mandate relief, both of which could have a dramatic effect on school property taxes.
Lawmakers also made several mid-course adjustments to Regents’ reform efforts. They eased up on standardized testing, safeguarded student privacy, and created a temporary "safety net" for students and teachers affected by the new Common Core assessments.
Whether these are sensible reforms, or whether they mark the systematic dismantling of New York’s reform efforts, remains to be seen.
Overall, we applaud legislators for a job well done. Today, we see an incremental increase in the graduation rates statewide. The future could be more promising. What our students need most right now is for all parties to work collectively to lead them to greater academic heights.
About NYSSBA: The New York State School Boards Association represents more than 650 school boards and more than 5,000 school board members in New York. NYSSBA provides advocacy, training, and information to school boards in support of their mission to govern the state's public schools.