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Elia releases draft learning standards

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has released a retooled set of learning standards designed to move New York beyond the Common Core Learning Standards - and the controversies they sparked.

Stakeholders in the world of public education, including school board members and the public, have until June 2 to review and comment on the proposed New York State P-12 English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards. Released on May 2, the full text is available at www.nysed.gov/aimhighny .


Support strong for aid increase

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By Paul Heiser
Senior Research Analyst

A new poll finds strong support for the additional money for schools included in the recently enacted state budget.

The random poll of 714 registered voters across the state by the Siena College Research Institute asked respondents to what degree they agreed that the $1.1 billion increase in aid to local school districts "will make New York better."


Trump finally says something about education

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

Every day, President Donald Trump makes news. We've learned what he thinks about a myriad of subjects. But he hasn't said much about public education, even when he had all the state Teachers of the Year in his office in late April.

So far, the most noteworthy signs of the direction of the administration have been the appointment of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education, the release of his budget proposal, and the recent signing of a sweeping executive order that directs Secretary DeVos to review - and repeal - regulations that have the federal government overstepping its authority.


Regents passing scores to remain 65

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has pulled the plug on a plan to raise the passing scores for math and English language arts Regents exams for students entering high school in 2018 and aiming to graduate in 2022.

This year's seventh graders were to be the first class required to pass the exams with scores at so-called "aspirational" levels - 75 for ELA and 80 for math - in order to graduate with Regents diplomas. Instead, the passing scores will remain at 65.

The decision was applauded by local school leaders, who see lots of changes ahead in the world of assessment.


Workers comp changes included in final budget

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By Julie M. Marlette
Director of Governmental Relations

The recently enacted state budget included a number of changes to the workers compensation law, several of which were supported by NYSSBA and should result in substantial cost savings for school districts.

A summary of the changes is below.

  • Permanent partial disability. Since 2007, New York has had a limit on the period of time that carriers and self-insured individuals had to pay for permanent disabilities insurance coverge.


U.S. Supreme Court decision emphasizes local judgment in special education cases

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By Jay Worona
Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel

For the first time since 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on the specific entitlements that students with disabilities have under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

In Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, the nation's highest court unanimously decided that the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals erred when it ruled that it was sufficient for the school district in the case to provide a special education student with an educational benefit that was anything more than de minimis (trivial). That's too low a standard for FAPE, according to the court.


ESSA and New York's opportunity to educate the whole child

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

Betty Rosa
Regents Chancellor

In 2012, Joy Dryfoos passed away at the age of 86. You may not know her name or be familiar with her work, but she has been an inspiration for me. Some called her the "mother of the community school" because of her work to increase collaborations between schools, social service agencies, and health professionals in communities plagued by poverty and all the issues that poverty brings with it.


Personnel policies: More than just hiring procedures

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By Courtney Sanik
Senior Policy Consultant

When a district is looking to hire a new staff member, be it a new superintendent, teacher, coach or support staff member, it's a big decision that will affect the lives of children. Clearly you want to attract and hire the most qualified people who will serve as role models for students.

Your district's mission statement and vision statements are a good place to start when thinking about your personnel goals, as all district policies and practices should align with and reflect these statements. Your board must be mindful of not only federal laws establishing equal opportunity and non-discrimination, but what your district's policies say about hiring practices.


Risk management helps Johnson City have safer - and less costly - schools

On Board Online • May 8, 2017

By George Basler
Special Correspondent

Three years ago, the Johnson City school district noticed its insurance bills were getting bigger every year.

Its workers' compensation insurance premium ballooned more than 30 percent at the same time that its tax cap was set at 1.46 percent.

The problem was a pattern of workplace accidents, which took employees off the job and racked up workers' compensation costs.


Education budget grows by $1.1 billion

On Board Online • April 17, 2017

By Julie M. Marlette
Director of Governmental Relations

All school districts are guaranteed a foundation aid increase of at least 2.74 percent over 2016-17 levels under the approved 2017 state budget.

In addition, all districts would be guaranteed to get at least 44.75 percent of the amount they are due to receive when foundation aid is fully phased-in.

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