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Decision offers timely reminders regarding elections

On Board Online • March 12, 2018

By Kimberly A. Fanniff
Senior Staff Counsel

A recent decision of the commissioner of education offers reminders of best practices for running school district elections.

To invalidate the results of a school election, a petitioner must establish that irregularities occurred in the conduct of the election which actually affected the outcome and either (1) were so pervasive that they vitiated the electoral process or (2) demonstrated a clear and convincing picture of informality to the point of laxity in adherence to the Education Law.

Your policies have to work in a crisis

On Board Online • March 12, 2018

By Courtney Sanik
Senior Policy Consultant

The Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. renews troubling questions about whether adults have done all they can to keep students safe in school.

The good news is that, statistically, schools remain one of the safest places for kids. A young person in the U.S. is nearly 11 times more likely to die in a swimming pool than in a school shooting, according to James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology, law and public policy at Northeastern University.

Advocacy Update: Senate and Assembly Act on Gun Control and School Safety Proposals

March 7, 2018

Earlier this week, the State Senate and Assembly each acted on a series of bills in response to the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The Senate acted first, taking up a series of school focused bills on Monday afternoon. Included in their package was legislation that would:

  • Make all threats of mass violence against a school a felony
  • Alter the reimbursement for the Smart Schools Bond Act payments
  • Establish grant programs for some districts to access funding mental health coordinators and school resource officers
  • Increase the salary limits for retired police officers serving as school resource officers
  • Require that a NYC police officer be placed in every NYC school
  • Designate all school resource officers as peace officers
  • Create distinctive license plates, the fees for which would fund school safety programs

Advocacy Update: Contact Your Legislators before Legislative Budgets

March 2, 2018

Work on the development of the "one house" legislative budget proposals for 2018 is well under way. Take Action Now

Contact your legislators and ask them to consider NYSSBA's priorities  as they finalize the 2018 state budget, including:

  • Increasing Foundation Aid for all districts
  • Rejecting the proposed cap on expense based aids
  • Rejecting SED and DOB approval of building based budgets
  • Increasing funding for district based health and mental health services

Statement of NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer on School Safety

FOR RELEASE: February 25, 2018

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933  cell


A safe learning environment for every student and staff member is a school board’s highest priority. While in recent days we have seen a number of proposals to keep schools safe, the public is best served when local boards of education, operating within the boundaries of their legal authority, choose what approaches are best for their district. One thing is clear, however: both state and federal lawmakers should earmark additional resources toward maintaining school safety in our local communities.

Student Walkouts

School districts around the nation, including New York have been advised that there are at least three upcoming student walkouts and marches that will be held related to the tragedy that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland Florida in which 17 individuals were gunned down by a former student. Our understanding of the purported purpose of these walkouts and demonstrations is to protest gun violence in our nation and call upon our state and federal leaders to enact legislation which will serve to end the continuance of such violence.

NYSSBA Poll: Two-thirds of school board members favor easing special ed graduation requirements

FOR RELEASE: February 20, 2018

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933  cell



Nearly two-thirds of school board members responding to a recent online poll favor a Board of Regents proposal to allow students with disabilities to earn local diplomas without passing English language arts and/or math Regents exams as long as their superintendent determines they have otherwise demonstrated proficiency in those subjects, according to the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA).

Of the 507 poll respondents, 64 percent are in favor of the proposal, compared with 18 percent who are not in favor and 18 percent who are not sure.

Advocacy Update: 30 Day Executive Budget Amendments

February 16, 2018

Late Thursday night, Governor Cuomo submitted a series of amendments to the original executive budget proposal he offered in January. Commonly referred to as "30 Day Amendments," the release notably includes a number of potential changes to the state's tax system, in response to the new federal tax plan - and the cap on SALT deductions, in particular - enacted late last year. These proposals include:

Hoosick Falls helps students overcome hidden hindrances of stress, depression

On Board Online • February 19, 2018

By Pauline Liu
Special Correspondent

What a difference a year has made for Nina Lawrence, a high school sophomore in Rensselaer County's Hoosick Falls Central School District. Last year, she was failing most of her classes. She suffers from depression and was hospitalized in the past, when her symptoms were at their worst.

Now the 15-year-old has an upbeat attitude, and her grades are soaring. That includes a 98 in Introductory Spanish and a 95 in in Studio Art, which she earned during the first quarter marking period.

Celebrating success

On Board Online • February 19, 2018

William Miller
NYSSBA President

Like many others, I have always admired Olympic athletes. Earning a spot on the Olympic roster is an incredible achievement, one that requires hard work, sacrifice and perseverance.

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games are now underway in PyeongChang, South Korea. Some of our Olympic athletes graduated from New York State public schools, and you can read about them in this issue of On Board. I know I will certainly be cheering for them.

Not long after the Olympic Games end, another set of world class athletes will compete in PyeongChang as part of the Paralympic Games.

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