Member Services and Programs
NYSSBA's programs and services – organized around the Association's goals to provide advocacy, information, leadership development and custom services for school districts – are designed to help school board members advance the cause of public education for the children of New York.
NYSSBA provides member boards with skillbuilding and informative education programs, publications and consultant services.
It represents the views of its members with legislators and policymakers in Albany and Washington, D.C. NYSSBA also stands ready to assist members with legal questions, negotiation advice, policy guidance, communications activities, research needs and much more.
Many of the services and publications NYSSBA offers are free to members.
For members who need special assistance, NYSSBA offers a wide array of leadership development and customized fee-based programs and services. This allows the Association to keep membership dues at stable levels while providing a greater level of services to member boards when the need arises.
NYSSBA's advocacy efforts on the state and federal levels are directed by the 5,000 locally elected officials that comprise its membership. As NYSSBA members and locally elected education leaders, board members are in the best position to identify those issues that most need the support, time and attention of the Association.
Issues go to the full membership through the resolutions process. Proposed resolutions are passed by a member school board or NYSSBA's Board of Directors and submitted to NYSSBA for consideration by member delegates at the Annual Business Meeting each October. Adopted resolutions become the position statements that form NYSSBA's legislative agenda.
NYSSBA promotes the value of public education at the state and federal levels in the following ways:
NYSSBA advocates an aggressive and effective legislative and regulatory program based on resolutions adopted by delegates at the Annual Business Meeting and on positions taken by the Board of Directors. (dues-based)
NYSSBA represents the membership in state and federal courts and before the commissioner of education and the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) on matters of statewide significance. (dues-based)
NYSSBA crafts friend-of-the-court briefs to support member legal actions of statewide significance. (dues-based)
The Capital Conference (formerly State Issues Conference)
An annual two-day advocacy training event in March that gives board members the information and skills they need to fulfill their roles as grassroots educational policy advocates at the state level. Members hear from state leaders about the state budget and issues directly affecting their districts, then lobby their state legislators at the state Capitol. (dues-based)
No New Mandates
NYSSBA’s 2013 advocacy campaign designed to encourage board members and their communities to create a united front against new, unfunded mandates.
Federal Relations Network (FRN)
An annual event each January, where school board members from each Congressional district lobby their federal representatives in Washington, D.C., including New York's two senators, on federal issues such as the No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, that affect school districts. This conference is sponsored jointly by NYSSBA and the National School Boards Association. FRN members also advocate their positions throughout the year. (dues-based)
Legislative Liaisons and Legislative Alerts
Each NYSSBA member district appoints a legislative liaison. NYSSBA keeps these liaisons up-to-date on current issues and helps them learn how their boards can successfully advocate their districts' interests. NYSSBA also provides electronic Legislative Alerts and Calls to Action when issues demand direct involvement of all NYSSBA members. (dues-based)
NYSSBA supports local advocates through regional issue briefings, the State Legislative Network News (an electronic newsletter), Capitol Advantage (an online advocacy tool) and collaboration with county and local associations, in cooperation with the Council of Local School Boards Associations (COLSBA). Members also have access to advocacy materials, such as sample letters to legislators, letters to the editor, and district newsletter articles. (dues-based)
Each year NYSSBA holds summits to examine the issues directly related to school districts. For example, NYSSBA held a summit to explore ways to assist rural school districts as well as a summit to examine funding and restructuring in high need school districts. Through these summits, NYSSBA brings experts together with local district representatives and then forges strategic advocacy plans to assist districts in need.
NYSSBA provides vital information to help your board make informed decisions.
- On Board
NYSSBA's award-winning newspaper is published twice monthly and is distributed to NYSSBA members, as well as superintendents and other school administrators, public officials and the media. On Board contains the latest information regarding lobbying, negotiations, legal issues, leadership development, employee relations and policy development, and includes updates on current issues in education and local programs of note. (dues-based)
- NYSSBA Online
NYSSBA's award-winning website provides an electronic connection to NYSSBA and links members to educational organizations, the state and federal governments, county and local school boards associations, and school districts. Look for links to the latest education stories, timely lobbying and leadership development information, special reports and other tools to help your leadership team. (dues-based)
NYSSBA offers a variety of handbooks and guidebooks for school board members on subjects such as the 34rd edition of School Law (reduced fee for members), the Superintendent's Contract Guidebook (free to members), and School District Obligations Under the Open Meetings Law (free to members).
- Expert Advice
From the No Child Left Behind Act to the Regents higher learning standards, NYSSBA staff can answer your questions on legal issues, employee relations, governance, policy, public relations and legislative issues related to education. (dues-based)
NYSSBA uses the Internet, timely reports and periodicals, surveys and community engagement to track, conduct and disseminate the latest in education-related research and trends that affect school boards' advocacy and governance activities. (dues-based)
NYSSBA keeps school district officials up-to-date on the latest in education news from around the state by providing E-Clips, a free e-mail clipping service delivered each day, with stories from 26 newspapers across the state. Simply click on the headlines to access the full story on the newspapers website.
- Area Directors Electronic Newsletters
Board members, superintendents, district clerks and other key district personnel of NYSSBA's member school districts receive e-mail newsletters from their NYSSBA Area Director bi-weekly, keeping you up-to-date on all of NYSSBA's activities, events and accomplishments.
Superintendents and board presidents of NYSSBA's member school districts are emailed the "GrantStation Insider," a weekly newsletter that provides the latest information on new funding programs, upcoming deadlines, conferences, seminars and general information for grant seekers. (dues-based)
NYSSBA offers a variety of leadership development opportunities, both in the classroom and online, to meet your leadership team's developmental needs.
- The Annual Convention
NYSSBA’s premiere event held in October is the largest statewide gathering of public education leaders in New York. The convention consists of more than 100 education sessions, state and national speakers, special networking events, the premiere pre-convention School Law Seminar and all aspects of district governance and student achievement. It also includes a variety of student performances and displays as well as one of the largest exhibitions of educational products and services in the state. (fee-based).
- New School Board Member Academy
Offers mandated Fiscal Oversight Fundamentals (six hours) and Essentials of School Board Governance training through workshops in a two day program in regional locations around the state. By participating in NYSSBA’s core training curriculum, new school board members sharpen their governance and fiscal skills and meet their mandated requirements while becoming familiar with board roles and responsibilities, policies and procedures, legal rights, fiscal duties, and more! (fee-based).
- NYSSBA's School Board U provides the skills you need to meet the ever-changing challenges of board governance and fiscal accountability with a training program designed to enhance your leadership skills. Whether you are a newly elected or seasoned board member, our training program is designed for you! School Board U also acknowledges the extensive time and effort school board members devote to professional development with a point-based recognition program.
- Board Officers Academy
For board officers or those who aspire to become one. This full day training will take you through an interactive agenda focused on the officer’s role in effective governance, leadership and accountability.
- Regional Workshops and Seminars
These events, held across the state, provide governance team members training on topical issues and skills at convenient times and locations. Workshops normally focus upon a single subject, such as "NCLB Policy Effects," "Fiscal Fitness" or "Planning the Governance Team Transition." These workshops and seminars may also be conducted at the request of a specific school district or region. (fee-based)
- Legal Seminars
NYSSBA's Legal Department presents seminars and workshops across the state on legal topics that affect board members, superintendents, school principals, pupil services personnel, committees for special education (CSE) chairs and other school staff, and school attorneys. These events include a series of special education seminars; a series of summer law conferences; and the Association's annual Pre-Convention School Law Seminar. (fee-based)
- Recognition Program
NYSSBA acknowledges graduates of NYSSBA's School Board Institute and other members committed to attending Leadership Development events with a special recognition program. (dues-based)
- Fiscal Oversight Online
Complete your 6 hours of state mandated fiscal oversight training online. Learn how school districts are funded, the responsibilities of financial positions, the key reports you’ll need to rely on and how to spot fraud, waste and abuse of resources. (fee-based)
- Essentials of School Board Governance Online
You can fulfill your state-mandated governance training through this online program. Learn the ropes of school boardsmanship. Gain an understanding of the board-superintendent relationship, key operational procedures for board meetings, Open Meetings Law, and legal rights, risks and responsibilities. (fee-based)
NYSSBA's expert consultants deliver special programs and services when the need arises
- Custom Improvement Programs (CIP)
Tailored to meet the specific needs of your board or full governance team; These onsite programs help a board set goals, strengthen the governance team, improve specific knowledge or skills or resolve a local problem. CIPs are scheduled at a time and place convenient for the board - weekday, evening, or weekend. Programs can be from three hours to a full day in duration. (fee-based)
- The Essential Policy Manual
The Essential Policy Manual delivers custom-tailored policy manuals to meet individual school districts' needs, including revisions, and new policies and/or regulations, to reflect the latest changes to state and federal laws and regulations. (fee-based)
E-Policy. NYSSBA converts paper policy manuals into powerful online formats that can be instantly accessed by board members, district officials and the community, or any combination that boards choose, on any computer with Internet access. It includes Internet links to provisions of state and federal laws, and relevant court decisions. (fee-based)
- Policy Update
Let NYSSBA keep your policy manual electronically up-to-date with the latest policies, regulations and exhibits. NYSSBA monitors key changes in law and regulations at both the state and federal level that impact policy. (fee-based)
- Search Support
NYSSBA offers several tools to help boards conduct successful administrative searches, including The Do-it-Yourself Search Manual and Superintendent's Contract Guidebook, and a teambuilding workshop called "Transitions." (fee-based)
- K-12 School Foundation Development Program
Your NYSSBA membership entitles you to advice on establishing and fostering your education foundation, as well as reduced members to webinars and workshops related to education foundations. We're ready to offer your district guidance on planning for your foundation, establishing the board, goals and objectives, recruiting and motivating volunteers, policies for your foundation operations, ideas for fundraising, and more. You may also want to check out the websites for the National School Foundation Association and the American Schools Foundation Alliance.
School Service Partners Program
NYSSBA investigates companies that offer services that districts need. We've done the research to find reputable companies that can offer your district outstanding services at reasonable rates. For more information on these programs, contact NYSSBA at (800) 342-3360 or via email at email@example.com.
- Insurance Audit Services
Periodic insurance examinations can help the school board and school leaders better understand the school district's current insured status and identify areas of risk, leading to better protection of the district. School districts may also recognize significant financial savings and enhanced insurance coverage when subjecting their insurance program to rigorous review and a bidding process. (service provided by Bryant Asset Protection)
Your school can accept secure online payments for student purchases - for everything from yearbooks to student lunches - all through your district website. PaySchools enables parents to make payments online - 24/7 - with both e-checks and credit card payments while providing district staff with secure, accurate records of transactions. It's convenient for parents, simple for students and cost-effective for schools. (fee-based)
Through NYSSBA’s partnership with Emerald Data Solutions, BoardDocs offers districts a user-friendly approach to paperless board meetings. Utilizing BoardDocs provides school governance teams an opportunity to streamline operations and reduce the size of board packets by up to 75 percent. (fee-based)
The Public Employer Risk Management Association (PERMA) has been the premier provider of workers’ compensation to public employers in New York State for 30 years. They understand the constraints and risks involved with operating an educational organization in today’s challenging environment. This expertise is one of the reasons why NYSSBA has chosen to partner with PERMA. (fee-based)