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Statement by NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer on the 2017 Legislative Session

FOR RELEASE: June 22, 2017

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 783-3716 or (518) 320-2221 cell
@nyschoolboards

   

We expect lawmakers will return to Albany at some point to address outstanding issues – most notably extending mayoral control of New York City schools – and correct what can best be characterized as an incomplete end to the legislative session. 

While we are grateful for the passage of much-needed technical adjustments to the tax cap, the major education issue of this session, mayoral control, hangs in limbo. The use of the mayoral control school governance model in New York City is preferred by nearly all interested parties. Therefore, it makes sense to separate this issue from other issues not so widely supported, and approve an extension immediately while the law's expiration deadline of June 30 is looming. Other issues can and should be taken up by the legislature at a later date. 

We urge the Legislature to resolve this unfinished business as soon as possible.


Advocacy Alert: 2017 Session Ends Without Deal on NYC Mayoral Control

Last night just before midnight, both houses of the legislature adjourned and released their members. Unfortunately, this was before a deal could be agreed to on an extension of mayoral control over the New York City school system. This provision of law expires at the end of the month. At this time it is unclear if or when legislators will return to address this issue.

While negotiations on this issue were ongoing, many issues of importance to school districts were taken up by one or both houses.


Media Backgrounder: NYS School Board Member Removal Process

FOR RELEASE: June 20, 2017

CONTACT:
David Albert (518) 783-3716
Al Marlin (518) 527-6933
@nyschoolboards

   
  1. How is a school board member removed from office?
    A board member may be removed from office either by the commissioner of education or the school board. A school board’s authority to remove one of its members from office is separate and distinct from the commissioner’s authority to remove a board member. A school board member removed from office may not be appointed or elected to any district office for one year from the date of his or her removal.


Advocacy Update: End of the Legislative Session Approaches

June 19, 2017

Legislators appear to be on track to end the legislative session this week as scheduled.  At this time, a number of NYSSBA priorities are still pending, and NYSSBA governmental relations staff is also working to block new mandates and amend proposals that would be harmful to districts.

As we enter the final week of the legislative session some key issues are still in play. Some of those proposals saw movement last week, including:


Call to Action: Reform BOCES District Superintendent Compensation

June 14, 2017

Legislation that seeks to update the current cap on salaries for BOCES district superintendents is pending in both houses of the state legislature. Current law caps the salary of BOCES district superintendents at 98 percent of the commissioner of education's 2003-04 salary or 106% of the salary cap applicable in the previous school year, whichever is less. This legislation would update the cap to reflect the commissioner of education's 2017-18 salary.

Take Action Now


Call to Action: Protect Medicaid Funding in Schools

June 13, 2017

As the U.S. Senate moves forward with considering its version of healthcare reform legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," the NYSSBA, in partnership with the National School Boards Association (NSBA) urges local school board members to contact their U.S. Senators and urge them to oppose legislation or provisions that place arbitrary caps on how much Medicaid funding a child receives.

Take Action Now


Call to Action: Equitable Treatment of BOCES Capital Costs

June 12, 2017

Last week several NYSSBA priority bills moved through the Assembly Education Committee, including legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Senator Terrence Murphy (A.5965/S.4283) which would exclude school districts' BOCES capital costs from the tax cap. Currently, a school district's own capital costs are excluded from the cap. This bill, and several other NYSSBA priorities, are now referred to the Assembly Ways and Means committee and await a vote by the full Senate. Take Action Now


Profs: Schools need to understand potential of 'digital rich teaching'

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

By Eric D. Randall
Editor-in-Chief

First of a two-part series

Buying students devices that connect to the internet was made easier by the Smart Schools Bond Act. But figuring out how to use such devices most effectively in the classroom is a challenge now facing every school district with a 1:1 computing program.

Schools are entering a new world of teaching and learning in which the strength of a school's Wi-Fi signal becomes as important as having heat, light and plumbing, according to professors at the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester.


Students respond to Netflix series with '13 Reasons Why Not'

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

By Eric D. Randall
Editor-in-Chief

Lately, high school announcements at the Delaware Academy in Delhi are anything but routine and boring.

In response to the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why," students and staff in the 700-student district in the southern Catskills are reading self-revelatory statements over the public address system. They call it, "13 Reasons Why Not."


NYC school control shouldn't be annual issue

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

It's that time of year for much pomp and circumstance. No, not the graduation march across the stage. I am referring to the annual fuss that occurs in Albany at the end of every legislative session.

Each year, an all-absorbing "crisis" seems to emerge during the waning days of the session. This year, as it has for the past two years, the dispute is over mayoral control of public schools in New York City, which directly affects the five boroughs of New York City only but indirectly stymies the prospects of nearly all other legislation that impacts school districts throughout the state. Until the mayoral control dispute is resolved (at least for this year), most other issues that matter to school leaders outside of New York City are on the proverbial back burner.

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