New Your State School Boards Association
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Robert Gibson of Questar III BOCES and the Brittonkill Central School Board wins State School Boards’ highest award

FOR RELEASE:  July 30, 2014

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards


Robert Gibson, president of the Questar III BOCES board and former president and member of the Brittonkill Central School District Board of Education, is the 2014 winner of the Everett R. Dyer Award for Distinguished School Board Service. The honor is the New York State School Boards Association’s top award for school board service.

 

Gibson has served on the Questar III BOCES board for 21 years, including 13 years as the board president.  He recently completed 34 years of service with the Brittonkill Central school board, including eight years as president.  Gibson also has served on the Tech Valley High School Operating Board since its inception. 

 

“I have served with Bob on the Tech Valley board and can attest to his commitment to public education,” said Lynne Lenhardt, NYSSBA president. “He is the consummate school board member and an outstanding role model for others. Bob is a fitting recipient of this award.”


Statement of NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer on Graduation Rates

FOR RELEASE:  June 23, 2014

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards

The good news is today’s graduation rates show slight progress in the percentage of students graduating statewide, and that rate has been trending upward.

The bad news is that we continue to see persistent achievement gaps based on race and ethnicity, as well as school district wealth.


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. 


Poll: School boards urge caution with online testing

FOR RELEASE:  June 17, 2014

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


Less than one-third of school board members responding to a recent poll say their districts currently have the capacity to give computer-based Common Core assessments next year.

Only 28 percent of board members believe their districts are ready to give online math and English assessments in grades 3-11 during the 2014-15 school year, while 45 percent say their districts are not ready. Another 27 percent are not sure.

“School board members are waving a red flag over full implementation of online testing,” says NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “While some schools were able to handle the lower bandwidth and hardware requirements for field testing, they are not yet ready for full scale implementation.”


Diverse Coalition Calls on Lawmakers to Enact Mandate Relief and Fulfill Promises Made Prior to Passage of Tax Cap

 

 

Media Contact: Al Marlin, (518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933

For Release: June 3, 2014

Diverse Coalition Calls on Lawmakers to Enact Mandate Relief
and Fulfill Promises Made Prior to Passage of Tax Cap

A statewide coalition of groups representing businesses, local governments and schools today urged state lawmakers to enact a package of mandate relief measures before the end of the legislative session.

Noting that state lawmakers pledged to provide mandate relief to schools and local governments during passage of the tax cap in 2011, the “Let NY Work” Coalition today highlighted six mandate relief measures that, if enacted, would help ease the financial burden on municipalities – and help them comply with the state’s property tax cap and recently enacted property tax freeze.

The six items in the Coalition’s mandate relief package include:

  • Freezing step increases when contracts expire. The state’s Triborough Amendment allows so-called “step increases” – or salary increases – for public employees to continue under an expired contract. This places a financial burden on school districts and municipalities and provides a disadvantage in collective bargaining, as they must continue to provide salary increases even with no contract in place.


Overall, 98.3 percent of school budgets pass

FOR RELEASE:  May 21, 2014

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards

New York State voters approved 98.3 percent of school district budgets on Tuesday, May 20, according to an analysis by the New York State School Boards Association.

“School districts received a much-deserved pat-on-the-back from voters for their efforts to trim budgets and still maintain momentum on raising academic standards for students,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “Low tax levy increases buoyed by a healthy state aid increase in many districts helped drive success at the polls.”

Initial statewide results gathered by NYSSBA indicate voters passed 652 school district budgets. The number of budgets defeated was 11. NYSSBA was still awaiting results for 13 districts.

In the third year of the state’s property tax cap, 645 districts (97 percent) proposed budgets with tax levies that were within their caps and required only a simple majority to pass. Of those districts, 99.5 percent saw their budgets pass.


Fewer school layoffs; districts use attrition, shared services, reserve funds to manage budgets

FOR RELEASE:  May 19, 2014

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards

A substantial majority of school districts expect no actual layoffs of teaching or non-teaching staff in the 2014-2015 school year, according to a recent survey conducted by the New York State School Boards Association.

Eighty percent of 283 school business officials responding to the NYSSBA survey said they do not expect to lay off employees based on their budgets for next year. About 20 percent said they plan to impose layoffs.

“The good news is that school districts are holding the line on layoffs in 2014-15,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “The bad news is that they were able to hold the line because they have had to make substantial numbers of layoffs in recent years due to the depressed economic climate.”

According to the State Education Department, more than 7,000 of the state’s teachers were laid off in 2011 and 20,000 teaching positions were lost over the three years prior to that.


Schools propose lowest average tax levy in five years; 96% of budgets stay within tax cap

FOR RELEASE:  May 14, 2014

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards

Schools statewide are proposing an average tax levy increase of just 1.98 percent, the lowest in five years, according to an analysis of state property tax report card data by the New York State School Boards Association.

Ninety-six percent of school districts are proposing tax levy increases at or below their tax levy limits in their upcoming budgets.

“School boards worked diligently to craft budgets that balance the needs of students with their taxpayers’ ability to pay,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “The past several years brought substantial cuts in staff and programs, but the additional state aid this year helped many schools hold the line on any further deep cuts.


MEDIA ADVISORY and PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

FOR RELEASE:  April 22, 2014

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards

Who:     School board members, local government officials and elected leaders

What:    Municipal Innovation Exchange Summit

When:   Friday, April 25, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where:  Holiday Inn Liverpool, 441 Electronics Parkway, Syracuse, NY

With the recent passage of the New York State property tax freeze agreement, local governments and school districts need to further examine efficient ways to consolidate or share services with neighboring municipalities.   These potential cost savings would benefit local taxpayers.

The leaders from four state associations that represent school boards, counties, cities, villages and towns will host a summit to introduce the Municipal Innovation eXchange (MIX), a new collaborative effort to help school districts and local governments expand ongoing efforts to share and consolidate services.

 


Anne M. Byrne of Nanuet elected president of the National School Boards Association

FOR RELEASE:  April 7, 2014

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards

Anne M. Byrne of Nanuet was elected president of the National School Boards Association during NSBA’s annual conference in April in New Orleans.

The National School Boards Association represents state school boards associations and more than 90,000 local school board members who lead 13,809 local school districts serving the nation's 50 million public school students. Byrne has been a member of the NSBA board since 2006.

Byrne was president of the New York State School Boards Association from 2004 to 2005. She served as vice president in 2002-2003 and the Area 10 Director from 1997 to 2003, representing school boards in Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties.

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