New Your State School Boards Association

Advocacy Update Special Election Results and More


April 25, 2016

On Tuesday April 19th, New York State held four special elections to fill 4 state legislative vacancies.

In the 9th Senate District (Nassau County), sitting Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky (D) appears to have defeated Republican Christopher McGrath to fill the vacancy that was created by the conviction of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Kaminsky leads by 780 votes, with about 2,700 absentee ballots that must be counted.  Kaminsky and Senate Democrats have declared victory in the race, but McGrath has not conceded.

Three New York City races for open Assembly seats had clearer results:

  • Democrat Jaime William defeated Republican Jeffrey Ferretti in Brooklyn’s 59th Assembly District, replacing Roxanne Persaud, who was elected to the State Senate.  
  • Republican Ron Castorina won in Staten Island’s 62nd Assembly District, running without any opposition, replacing Joe Borelli, who was elected to the New York City Council.
  • Democrat Alice Cancel defeated Working Families Party (WFP) candidate Yuh-Line Niou in Manhattan’s 65th Assembly District, replacing former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

None of these races are expected to have an immediate effect on the balance of power in the State Senate, though we will continue to watch as the November elections approach.

 

Schools as Polling Places

Many of your school buildings were likely used as polling places during the recent primary and special elections. A NYSSBA resolution adopted in 2014 directed NYSSBA to seek legislation that would allow school districts to decline serving as a polling place.

To read NYSSBA’s bill draft to accomplish this goal and send a letter to your legislators urging their support, visit the NYSSBA website:

 

APPR and State Aid Link

Last week, NYSSBA executive director Tim Kremer sent the following letter to the Board of Regents urging them to join NYSSBA in calling for a change in state law to allow school districts to operate under Education Law section 3012-c or 3012-d and maintain their 2015-16 and 2016-17 state aid increases.

NYSSBA will continue this effort through the end of the legislative session.

 

USDA Seeks Applications for Nearly $12 Million in Broadband Grants for Rural Communities

The US Department of Agriculture is seeking applications to award nearly $12 million through its Community Connect grants program. This program provides financial assistance to eligible applicants to provide broadband service to currently unserved, lower-income, and extremely rural areas. This broadband service is intended to foster economic growth and deliver enhanced educational, healthcare, and public safety services on a community-oriented connectivity basis.  Priority status will be given to rural areas that have the greatest need for broadband services.

For additional information about this grant program please see the release from the USDA below:


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