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Advocacy Update: Governor Cuomo Acts on 132 Bills

December 5, 2016

On Monday, immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday, Governor Cuomo took action on 132 bills that had been delivered signing 60 and vetoing the remaining 72. This was a mixed bag for NYSSBA, as we achieved some of our goals and will have to keep working on others. A summary of the Governor's vetoes on key bills as well as some of NYSSBA's advocacy work is below:

Veto Number 235: S.4737 (Carlucci) / A.6823 (Jaffee)

This bill would have made it the duty of the town receiver of taxes to collect school taxes on behalf of the school district unless "the school board advises the town's receiver of taxes in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, by no later than February first of each year that it collects its own taxes." This would have effectively allowed a school district to unilaterally decide to collect its own taxes. The school district would have no longer needed the town to agree to such decision.

Advocacy Alert: Delay of DOL Overtime Rule

November 29, 2016

A federal judge granted an emergency preliminary injunction to delay implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor's overtime regulation set to take effect this week on December 1st. The finalized regulations establish a new minimum salary threshold of $47,476 per year, for certain employees. This constitutes a 100% increase in the salary threshold for overtime eligibility. The judge noted, "[d]ue to the approaching effective date of the Final Rule, the Court's ability to render a meaningful decision on the merits is in jeopardy." The injunction will remain in place while the "Court determines the department's authority to make the Final Rule as well as the Final Rule's validity."

Republicans in both the House of Representatives and the Senate have been working on plans to overturn the regulation including action under the Congressional Review Act and a legislative phase in. 

NYSSBA Report: Community schools level the playing field

FOR RELEASE: November 28, 2016

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

Community schools can help students overcome the adverse effects of poverty and other obstacles to academic success, according to a new research report by the New York State School Boards Association. 

The report, entitled "Community Schools: The Great Equalizer," offers an in-depth view of community schools, including a glimpse at life inside two community schools. 

"Community schools can help level the playing field for schools wrestling with a high level of student poverty and transiency," said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer.

Community Schools: The Great Equalizer?

Cover Community schools can help students overcome the adverse effects of poverty and other obstacles to success.

NYSSBA’s latest research report offers an in-depth view of community schools, including a glimpse at life inside two community schools.

Learn how community schools work, available funding sources, and the importance of community partnerships.



Read the Full Report (11 pages - 905 KB) 



Tax shifts a major concern in veterans exemptions

On Board Online • November 28, 2016

By Paul Heiser
Senior Research Analyst

Nearly two-thirds of school districts that have not adopted a property tax exemption for veterans say the reason is they do not want to redistribute the tax burden to other property owners in their districts, according to a survey by NYSSBA.

The survey found that 64 percent of school districts did not adopt the exemption because they did not want to shift the tax burden onto non-veterans. Of the districts that adopted the alternative veterans exemption, nearly 30 percent reported a tax shift from veterans to non-veterans in their district ranging from $100,000 to more than $1 million in 2015-16. About one-third of districts had not calculated the impact, while 13 percent said the exemption did not take effect until 2016-17.

NYSSBA expands new Member Relations Dept.

On Board Online • November 28, 2016

By Jeffrey S. Handelman
Deputy Director Of Administration

Two new employees, Jennifer Kearney and Patrick Longo, recently joined NYSSBA's newly-formed member relations department.

The department, headed by Barry Entwistle, seeks to connect with school board members throughout the state and bring them together at free, regional events.

Also, the department supervises the Annual Convention & Education Expo and coordinates outreach efforts such as staff contacts with newly elected school board members.

Student with mitochondrial disease battles 'a different kind of tired'

On Board Online • November 28, 2016

By Jason Franchuk
Special Correspondent

Doug Saber, a fifth-grade teacher in the Potsdam school district, starts every school year by providing a "Handle With Care" survey to the parents of his incoming fifth-grade students. He asks them to document various ailments and conditions he should know about to make it a more safe and productive school year.

Last year one of Saber's students, Zach Cummings, had a set of warning signs - also documented by the school nurse - that seemed incredibly unique.

'Wearable technology' offers new ways to travel, perform experiments

On Board Online • November 28, 2016

By Stephanie Gouss
Special Correspondent

Field trips and science labs just aren't the same since virtual reality applications have entered the classroom.

With simple "augmented glasses" or "fully immersive" applications such as goggles and tabletop/screen-based virtual reality, students can get a fish-eye view of the Great Barrier Reef, visit the Great Wall of China or shadow an electrical engineer.

'Taking a knee' during National Anthem is constitutionally-protected free speech

On Board Online • November 28, 2016

By the New York State Association of School Attorneys

Following the model of San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick, students in some school districts across the nation have been protesting perceived inequalities in American society by kneeling or sitting during the playing of the National Anthem at the beginning of athletic events. If this happens in your school district, how should administrators react?

Absent special circumstances, school officials are legally obligated to tolerate such protests.

Employer ruled liable for job action based on false accusation of employee

On Board Online • November 28, 2016

By Jay Worona
Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel

A federal appeals court with jurisdiction over all school districts in New York State has expanded the potential civil rights liability of employers in employment actions based on false accusations.

In Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Service Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that employers may be held liable for engaging in acts of discrimination by firing employees based on false allegations against them from other employees in the workplace.

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