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Advocacy Alert: Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization Update; August Webinar

July 29, 2015

On July 16th the U.S. Senate voted on and passed S. 1177, the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act, to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by a roll call vote of 81-17.  Vouchers and tuition tax credits to non-public schools were not included in the Senate bill.  Thanks to the efforts of Senator Schumer, the Senate rejected an attempt to amend the Title I program which would have cost New York schools more than $300 million. NYSSBA joined Schumer in his fight against the changes to the existing federal funding formula; click below to read the release.

Call To Action - Oppose Private School Vouchers

July 10, 2015

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) shared the following alert and asked us to share it with our membership.

Please take action on this important issue.

If you have any questions, please contact NYSSBA Governmental Relations at 518-783-0200.

Next week, the Senate will continue consideration of S.1177, the Every Child Achieves Act, to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  As action continues, we need to prevent approval of amendments that could redirect valuable resources away from our nation’s public schools. One voucher amendment has already been offered (and soundly defeated). We anticipate that more amendments on vouchers, tuition tax credits for non-public schools, Title I portability or other measures will be offered as early as Monday, July 13. Therefore, we need your help: Urge your Senators to support public education and oppose any attempts to send public funds to private schools.

Advocacy Alert - 2015 Legislative Wrap Up

July 2, 2015

Yesterday, the NYSSBA Governmental Relations team conducted a webinar discussing the end of the 2015 legislative session how your school districts could be affected.

We discussed what bills state lawmakers passed, what bills they did not, and what business was left unfinished. Highlights of the discussion included:

Advocacy Alert - Senate Bullet Aid

June 26, 2015

Late last night the Senate passed Resolution No. 3050, which allocates more than $15 million to dozens of school districts, libraries and not-for-profit organizations for  fiscal year 2015-16. This funding, commonly referred to a “bullet aid,” is in addition to the state aid amounts approved as part of this year’s budget and does not flow through traditional state aid formulas.

To find a listing of this year’s Senate “bullet aid” list, please click below:

Advocacy Alert - End of Session Deal Released

June 25, 2015

The 2015 regular session ended in a way that was reminiscent of the session overall- a mix of good and bad outcomes. NYSSBA secured some victories and suffered some defeats.

As is usually the case at the end of session, we measure our successes as much by looking to the policies that could have been enacted and did not, as those which were.

Final bills are scheduled to be voted on tonight. NYSSBA’s Governmental Relations team will provide you with a complete legislative wrap up next week, through a video webinar and a written summary. Register below and NYSSBA staff will send details!

Education Investment Tax Credit

The final deal did NOT include a tax credit or deduction to support private school tuition. NYSSBA opposed the creation of such a program.

Advocacy Alert - Assembly Releases Bullet Aid Allocations

June 24, 2015

Today, the Assembly passed Resolution No. 826, which allocates more than $14 million to dozens of school districts, libraries and not-for-profit organizations for 2015-16. This funding, commonly referred to a “bullet aid,” is in addition to the state aid amounts approved as part of this year’s budget and does not flow through traditional state aid formulas.

Act Now - Join Us in Asking the Assembly to Pass This Legislation

June 17, 2015

A.2800-a (Lentol) / S.430-a (Gallivan) which amends the penal law to make all threats of violence against groups of people a felony passed the Senate yesterday. The impetus of this legislation came from the Walton School District through the NYSSBA resolution process.

Under current law if someone threatens a fire, an explosion, or a hazardous chemical substance they are guilty of a class D felony, yet if someone makes a threat of violence through other means against a school this would just be a misdemeanor. This legislation would address that inequity.

Click below to read more about this bill:

While this has passed the Senate we need your help to get it through the Assembly.

Take Action Now

Call To Action – End of Session Update June 12, 2015

With only three scheduled session days remaining, most pending education issues remain unresolved which means we will continue our work into next week.

The NYSSBA Government Relations team wanted to provide our members with an update on the status of legislative proposals of concern to our members.

SUPPORT Changes to Implementation of Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPR)

A.7303-a, sponsored by Assembly Education Chairwoman Cathy Nolan, would make changes to the implementation of the updated APPR including:

  • Delinking APPR compliance and state aid increases;
  • Delaying the effective date until 2016;
  • Making the use of independent evaluators optional rather than mandatory

Act Now—Support Changes to APPR

As the remaining days of session wind down, action continues on many key issues. One key piece of legislation has passed the Assembly, A.7303-a, sponsored by Assembly Education Chair Cathy Nolan.

Click below to read NYSSBA’s memorandum of support:

Click below to read NYSSBA’s presentation to the State Education Department on APPR:


New Education Leadership for New York State

It has been an exciting week for education in Albany.

On Tuesday, the New York State Board of Regents convened a special meeting to appoint MaryEllen Elia as the new Commissioner of Education.

MaryEllen Elia is a lifelong educator, and native New Yorker beginning her career as a social studies teacher at Sweet Home High School outside of Buffalo. In 1986, she relocated to the Tampa, Florida, where she spent nearly 30 years in the Hillsborough County School system. More than 10 of those years were spend as the superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools, the 8th largest school district in the nation.

Ms. Elia, the first woman to hold a permanent appointment in this role, and will begin her term July 6th.

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