Call To Action: Only Four Days Remain to Act on APPR Legislation
June 13, 2016
Assembly Education Chair Catherine Nolan (D-Queens) and Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) and 90 of their colleagues have introduced legislation (A.10569) that would amend current law to allow districts to operate under approved Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans that are compliant with either section 3012-d, adopted in 2015, or 3012-c. Under current law, districts that do not have an approved 3012-d plan in place by September 1, 2016 risk losing their 2015-16 and 2016-17 state aid increases. If adopted, this legislation would allow districts to continue to operate under 3012-c until September 1, 2019 and maintain their aid increases. This legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Kaminsky (S.8034).
NYSSBA has called for this kind of flexibility throughout the legislative session and will continue to advocate for this legislation through the final days. Urge the legislature to advance this important legislation immediately. Take Action Now
Additional information about NYSSBA’s Advocacy on APPR and a list of school districts with aid at risk can be viewed below.
Regulatory Action on APPR
Today, the Board of Regents took emergency action on regulations to limit the use of independent evaluators for APPR under section 3012-d. Under this proposal, districts could seek a hardship waiver to exclude use of independent evaluators for those educators rated effective, highly effective or developing if they can demonstrate undue burden or cost.
This proposal was acted upon by the Regent’s P-12 committee this afternoon and will go before the full board tomorrow.
Additional End of Session Issues
Three issues have emerged as high priority end of session issues. It is likely that there will be some kind of legislative action on one or all of them.
School Closure on General Election Day: Legislation (S.4787-A, Funke/A.6040-B, Stirpe) is under consideration that would require all school districts to be closed to students on General Election Day. Districts would still be permitted to hold staff development days. NYSSBA is working with the sponsors to ensure that districts continue to have the ability to set their academic calendars.
Lead Testing for School Water Sources: Conversations are ongoing regarding legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Senator Tom O’Mara that would require most districts to engage in regular testing of their tap water to ensure there is no lead contamination. This issue has gained increased attention in recent months as reports of increased lead levels in some school buildings have surfaced. NYSSBA’s first priority, like our members and our partners, is to ensure that students and staff are safe. To ensure this, we are working closely with the sponsors, NYSCOSS and the BOCES Education Collaborative to ensure that any new requirements are reasonable, result in as little administrative burden as needed and are accompanied by adequate funding.
The legislation as currently drafted can be viewed below.
Addressing Heroin Use: Governor Cuomo has advanced a program bill to address many aspects of the current spike in heroin use that would affect school districts in a number of ways. NYSSBA, and our members, are deeply concerned about the impact of this situation on students. However we have serious concerns about any legislation that would interfere in building level discipline decisions.
NYSED Release Community School Set Aside Guidance
Today, NYSED released guidance on how schools may use their community schools foundation aid set asides. NYSSBA has advocated for this provision to be interpreted broadly to give districts maximum flexibility.
Registration for End of Session Wrap Up Webinar is Open
When the legislative session ends, join NYSSBA Governmental Relations staff to hear what did, and did not happen in the final days. NYSSBA will host a webinar on Thursday June 23. Register today!
NYSSBA’s Governmental Relations team will continue to update you on these and other issues. For more information, visit our Key Issues Page, and be sure to follow NYSSBA on Facebook and Twitter.