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Advocacy Update: Senate Introduces APPR Proposal

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan introduced the Senate's proposal to update APPR, as well as a number of other Senate Education priorities.

At first blush some components of the proposal may seem attractive, as the bill repeals sections 3012-c and 3012-d of the education law, and along with them the matrix, the requirement to use any measure of student performance and any link to state aid. However, the bill then restructures APPR to require that evaluations be 100% subject to collective bargaining. 

The bill would also include a number of provisions unrelated to evaluation including:

  • An increase of the charter school cap
  • An elimination of the NYC charter school and requirement that more schools be located there
  • Allowing all charters issued to schools that have closed to be reissued
  • Reducing oversight of certain nonpublic schools
  • Providing Division of Human Rights oversight over public school students
  • Reducing educator probationary periods from 4 to 3 years
  • Permanently prohibiting standardized test scores from being included in students' permanent records. 

Opioid deaths, arrests rattle NYS communities

On Board Online • June 11, 2018

By Pauline Liu
Special Correspondent

In Allegany County's Genesee Valley School District, tragedy struck twice this school year. Two parents of elementary school students overdosed on opioids and died in separate incidents, according to Superintendent Brian Schmitt.

Also this school year, three teenagers from the same county were charged with negligent homicide after allegedly failing to get medical help for an 18-year-old friend who died of a heroin overdose during a car ride to Rochester.

ABC journalist to discuss ethics at NYSSBA's Annual Convention

On Board Online • June 11, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

John Quiñones, host of the hidden-camera program "What Would You Do?," will offer a personal perspective on the everyday challenges of recognizing and doing the right thing when he delivers the keynote address at NYSSBA's 99th Annual Convention and Education Expo in New York City.

His speech on Oct. 25 will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown, which is located a short walk from this year's host hotel, the Sheraton New York Times Square. In 2020 and 2021, the Hilton will house all convention and expo events

Five lessons from the budget votes

On Board Online • June 11, 2018

William Miller
NYSSBA President

Another school budget vote has come and gone. What have we learned?

I see five key takeaways:

1. Community support for schools is strong. Voters statewide approved 98 percent of school budgets this year. While no one likes paying taxes - including me! - it is clear that public education is a top priority of voters in New York State.

2. The tax cap undermines democracy by suppressing voter turnout.

Comptroller to conduct school safety audits

On Board Online • June 11, 2018

By Eric D. Randall

In a new audit program beginning this month, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli will examine whether school districts have adequate and up-to-date safety plans in the event of a school shooting or major emergency.

The Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Act that was signed into law in 2000 requires schools to implement comprehensive safety plans, which include policies and procedures covering such topics as safe evacuation, communication in emergencies, emergency responder access to building plans and school violence prevention training. If a school district fails to comply fully with the SAVE Act, that could hamper communication with first responders and prolong emergencies, according to a news release from DiNapoli's office.

Teachers, coaches can get opioid help guide from state

On Board Online • June 11, 2018

This spring, three state agencies created the New York State Addiction and Substance Use Disorder Educational Resource for teachers, coaches and other school personnel.

The resource, available from the state free of charge, includes:

  • A resource packet to help school districts meet the requirements of modernizing health education instruction by including heroin and opioid content in the curriculum.
  • Presentations, videos, and discussion guides about the opioid and heroin epidemic.
  • A training program approved by the State Education Department (SED) for school personnel toimplement an opioid overdose prevention program and instructions on how to obtain free naloxone.

Security camera surveillance systems: Best practices and policy concerns

On Board Online • June 11, 2018

By the New York State Association of School Attorneys

To address heightened community concerns about school safety, many school boards are considering installing surveillance security camera systems in their school and administration buildings. These systems can be used to detect suspicious behavior or other potential dangers to the health and well-being of its students and employees. Some systems are connected to local police. However, there are various legal and "best practices" considerations that ought to be taken into account before such a system is implemented, especially with regard to unionized employees subject to such surveillance.

In mock trial competition, students explore school justice in the era of high-stakes tests

On Board Online • June 11, 2018

By Eric D. Randall

A teacher at Bigtown High School said she saw Carson Conners push another student in the hallway and reported that the girl loudly refused to go to the assistant principal's office. When two school resource officers arrived, Conners was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

Was this an open-and-shut case of a student violating the state's penal code? Or was it an allegation without an identified victim, and unsupported by any witness testimony, that benefited the probationary teacher by preventing a traditionally low-scoring student from participating in an upcoming district-wide assessment?

Senate Activity Resumes

June 5, 2018

After a weeklong gap in action, yesterday, with little fanfare, the State Senate entered their chamber and took up 130 bills, before adjourning for the day. These were largely non- controversial measures, and it remains to be seen what will happen today or if there are controversial bills advanced. NYSSBA Governmental Relations will continue to push to see our priorities advanced while bills are still being considered.

Senate Remains Deadlocked

June 4, 2018

The hectic days that lead in to the final days of the NYS legislative session have hit a new snag. Following the departure of Senator Tom Croci, who has begun preparation to resume active military duty and stopped coming to Albany, neither the Democrats nor Republicans have the requisite number of votes (32) to pass legislation.

Senate Democrats and Lieutenant Governor Hochul have argued that in this instance, she, as president of the Senate, should have the authority to preside over and cast the deciding vote.

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