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HFM PTECH designated a program to watch

On Board Online • November 20, 2017

By Eric D. Randall

The Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES' Pathways in Technology Early College High School (PTECH) program has been designated as one of 25 national models of Innovative Successful Practices by the AASA-The School Superintendents Association and The Successful Practices Network.

Centered on project-based learning, the four-year-old program allows students to choose their own "pathways" to high-skills jobs in different career clusters.

New York's highest court explains scope of 'law enforcement purposes' FOIL exemption

On Board Online • November 20, 2017

By Jeffrey Mongelli
Senior Staff Counsel

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), school districts are required to "make available for public inspection and copying all records" unless the request can be lawfully denied under one of the exemptions set forth in the statute. One statutory exemption permits school districts to deny public access to records that are "compiled for law enforcement purposes and which, if disclosed, would" either "interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings" or "reveal criminal investigative techniques or procedures, except routine techniques and procedures."

Small cities school funding case sent back to lower court for factual findings

On Board Online • November 20, 2017

By Jay Worona
Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel

It has been nine years since the plaintiffs in the small cities school funding case commenced court proceedings seeking to ensure that their school districts receive sufficient state funding to provide their children the opportunity to receive a sound basic education as guaranteed in the state Constitution. According to the plaintiffs, the state has violated the state Constitution by failing to appropriate sufficient levels of funding to enable their districts to provide a sound basic education.

MLK was right: Everybody can be great

On Board Online • November 20, 2017

Betty Rosa
Regents Chancellor

"Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." - Martin Luther King Jr.

In my last On Board column, I wrote about Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the lessons to be learned from those awful events. Tragically, an even more destructive storm, Hurricane Maria, ravaged my childhood home of Puerto Rico just as the country was beginning to recover and heal from Harvey and Irma.

Call to Action: Federal Tax Plan Released

November 3, 2017

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives released their long anticipated tax reform bill. Coined the "Tax Cut and Jobs Plan," HR 1 includes a modified version of the plan to eliminate the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. Under this proposal, the deduction for state and local sales and income taxes would be eliminated, while the deductibility of property taxes would be continued, but capped at $10,000 per year. This compromise would still negatively impact many New Yorkers. Urge your congressional representative to oppose any change or reduction in the SALT deduction. Take Action Now

Call to Action: Congress Prepares to Take Up Tax Reform Plan

October 25, 2017

Congress is preparing to act on a budget resolution, an action that will pave the way for further action on a tax reform plan. Advertised as a tax cut for the middle class, the outline of the proposal (based on the information available at this time) would:

  • Reduce  the number of federal income tax brackets, including an increase for the lowest income earners and a decrease for highest income earners;
  • Reduce the corporate rate for most corporations;
  • Double the standard deduction; and
  • Eliminate a number of key federal deductions including the deduction of state and local taxes (SALT), including property taxes levied by school districts.

Teacher of the Year Albrecht calls for emphasis on charity

On Board Online • October 23, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

New York's Teacher of the Year invited school board members and administrators at NYSSBA's 98th Annual Convention and Education Expo to join him in a campaign to show students the importance of charity and community service.

Brockport fourth grade teacher Christopher Albrecht noted that he received three financial awards (totaling $1,100) as part of the statewide honor announced in September.

"I plan to keep none of it," he said. Instead, using bulk ordering discounts available to educators, he expects to purchase at least 1,300 books to give to students.

Delegates set official positions, add minority seat to NYSSBA board

On Board Online • October 23, 2017

By Barbara Bradley
Deputy Director of Online Communications and Project Planning

At the 2017 Annual Business Meeting in Lake Placid, delegates passed 26 resolutions, which will become part of NYSSBA's 2018 advocacy agenda and stay in effect as official positions for five years.

The 250 delegates also passed a bylaw amendment to give the New York State Caucus of Black School Board Members a voting seat on the NYSSBA Board of Directors.

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