New York State School Boards Association
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TRS contribution rate falls to 8.86%

On Board Online • August 12, 2019

By Paul Heiser
Senior Research Analyst

School districts will see a decrease in their contribution rates toward the Teachers' Retirement System for the 2019-20 school year.

The TRS board formally adopted an employer contribution rate of 8.86% at its July meeting, which is down from 10.62% for 2018-19.

Leading from all directions

On Board Online • August 12, 2019

William Miller
NYSSBA President

The start of the new school year, now just a few weeks away, often brings a combination of excitement and trepidation for students and parents. Little do they know that school board members often experience those same emotions, along with a tremendous sense of responsibility.

That's especially true for school board presidents, who must lead their boards through the multitude of issues - expected and unexpected - that will crop up in the coming school year.


Comptroller finds school districts fall short on safety plans

On Board Online • August 12, 2019

By Shubh N. McTague
Staff Counsel

In recent audits of 17 school districts and two charter schools, the Office of the State Comptroller sought to determine whether the schools were compliant with the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Act, a section of the Education Law that took effect in 2000.

The comptroller found that none of the school systems' safety plans met the minimum requirements, two schools did not have a safety plan at all, 18 schools did not have a safety team or all the required members, and no school met all of the annual safety training requirements.

Updated Q&A fills in more blanks on school vaccination requirements

On Board Online • August 12, 2019

By Pilar Sokol
Deputy General Counsel

State officials have updated a joint "Frequently Asked Questions" on school vaccination requirements to address questions that school officials have been asking.

For the upcoming school year, proof of immunization is due within 14 days after the first day of instruction in September.

Advocacy Update: Congress and White House Reach Tentative Two-Year Budget Deal

July 30, 2019

As Congress prepares to leave Washington for the 2019 in-district work period, leaders appear to have reached an agreement with the White House on a two-year budget plan. The plan will provide an aggregate $57 billion increase for non-defense programs, including education, for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. The Senate is expected to approve the deal this week.

Regents plan to create commission to reconsider diploma requirements

On Board Online • July 22, 2019

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

The Board of Regents has launched an initiative to re-evaluate New York's high school diploma requirements and announced the creation of a new "blue ribbon" commission to recommend revisions.

The commission membership is expected to overlap with a "working stakeholder group" that is to include NYSSBA and organizations representing superintendents, parents, teachers and administrators, as well as business leaders and representatives from higher education

Vaping trend seen as threat to many students' health

On Board Online • July 22, 2019

By George Basler
Special Correspondent

The products have catchy names such as Chef's Crunch and Apple Smax. But they're not candy. They're flavored tobacco products that have exploded in popularity in recent years, creating a new issue for school officials.

Use of liquid nicotine, known as vaping, surpasses traditional cigarettes among school-age children, according to figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The trend is raising concern that a new generation of young people are getting hooked on nicotine.

NYSSBA: Visible, vocal and vigilant... in more ways than you may think

On Board Online • July 22, 2019

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

As NYSSBA prepares to celebrate its 100th Annual Convention & Education Expo this October, I have been thinking about how much public education has changed since our first convention was held in 1920 (not that I was around back then). The amount of change has been pretty astonishing.

Like any good organization, NYSSBA has had to evolve with the times, keeping pace with changes in public education and the world. That means always thinking of ways to serve members better.

Currently, NYSSBA presents its service offerings across four categories - Information, Advocacy, Leadership Development and Custom Programs.


Elia surprises Regents with resignation

On Board Online • July 22, 2019

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

MaryEllen Elia, who stepped into a turbulent swirl of controversy surrounding educational issues when she was tapped as New York's 15th education commissioner four years ago, surprised the Regents at their July meeting by announcing her imminent resignation.

Elia, 70, said she would serve through August and plans to accept a position with "a national firm" that works with school districts across the country to support school turnaround efforts.

Appellate court vacates termination of bus driver who slapped a student

On Board Online • July 22, 2019

By Shubh N. McTague
Staff Counsel

A divided appellate court panel has vacated the penalty of termination imposed on a school bus driver who slapped the face of a nine-year-old student with a disability. The student had punched the driver while trying to get off the bus.

While emphasizing that it was not condoning the bus driver's behavior, a majority of the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court, Fourth Department, sent the matter back to the school district for the imposition of "an appropriate penalty less than termination."

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