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June 27, 2017
Earlier today, the NYSSBA Governmental Relations team conducted a webinar discussing the end of the 2017 legislative session and how your school district could be impacted.
We discussed what bills state lawmakers passed, what bills they did not, and what business was left unfinished.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
June 8, 2017
Legislation that would authorize school districts and BOCES to create and fund a Teachers Retirement System reserve fund moved through the Assembly Education Committee this week. This bill is on the Senate Calendar but has not been scheduled for a vote.
June 2, 2017
The Trump administration recently released its formal budget request to Congress. As foreshadowed, the proposal includes a number of cost shifts and program eliminations that would be damaging to public education. Some of the key proposals are:
May 10, 2017
On Monday, the State Education Department released a draft of the State's ESSA plan, which will shape the new accountability system in the state. A draft of the full plan and a summary are included below. This draft plan is now out for public comment. The department will be holding a series of public hearings across the state to maximize public engagement. Speakers will be allowed to testify on a first come, first served basis, for a maximum of 3 minutes. Written comments can also be submitted. It is critical that board member voices be heard throughout this process. NYSSBA urges you to participate in your regional hearing, to discuss how the draft plan may impact your district. To assist with that participation, and because the draft plan is lengthy, we have identified some key provisions of the draft plan that you may wish to address in your comments.
May 5, 2017
Despite an overall cut of $1.1 billion to Department of Education programs, most major K-12 programs saw increases over FY 2016, despite concerns that the President's "skinny budget" cuts could be addressed in the 2017 spending plan. Cuts were instead concentrated in higher education programs. The bill included:
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