Advocacy Update: Elia and Schneiderman Advise School Districts on Protection of Immigrant Students' Rights

March 2, 2017

Earlier this week, State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman jointly released guidance reminding school districts of their rights and duties under existing state and federal laws to ensure the rights of immigrant children to attend the state's public school districts.

The guidance and press release can be viewed below:

Sample Board Resolution on Foundation Aid

NYSSBA Governmental Relations staff continues to work hard opposing the Executive Budget proposal to repeal the existing Foundation Aid formula. However, continued local action is needed. NYSSBA shared a letter last month as an example for individuals to express their position. To supplement that action, we have drafted a sample resolution. Adoption and publicity about the passage of this or a similar resolution is a good way for individual school boards to advocate for a fair and sustainable Foundation Aid formula. The sample resolution and letter can be viewed below.

Legislation Introduced in Senate to Provide Aid for Enrollment Growth and ELL Students

Legislation recently introduced in the Assembly that would provide targeted state aid for districts with recent growth in student enrollment, as well as for districts experiencing increases in their numbers of English language learner (ELL) students, has now been introduced in the Senate as well. This funding is a NYSSBA budget priority for 2017-18. NYSSBA highlighted the need for this change in our budget testimony delivered to the legislature earlier this month. These funds are important to help support the hundreds of school districts that have seen their student enrollment grow in recent years and the numerous districts that educate the state's growing ELL population, which now totals more than 215,000 students. The state's underfunding of Foundation Aid has prevented an adequate amount of funding from flowing to these districts.

Please urge your state legislators to support this bill, S.4788 (Hannon)/A.5717 (Brindisi), by calling or sending a letter through the link below.

NYSSBA's memorandum of support and budget testimony can be viewed below.

Congressman Steve King Introduces School Choice Bill

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) recently introduced the Choices in Education Act of 2017 (H.R. 610), which if passed into law, would repeal the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, and create a voucher program to allow federal funds to be used for public and private schools or homeschooling. Additional provisions in H.R. 610 include:

H.R. 610 is in the very early stages of the legislative process; however an aggressive social media campaign has been launched opposing the bill, in some cases giving the impression that this bill is moving through the process. At this time no hearing has been scheduled and while many of the components are consistent with what was expected from President Trump's administration there is no evidence this bill is an executive priority. NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team is working closely with NSBA to monitor this and other legislative proposals that could impact school districts.

NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team will continue to update you on these and other issues.

For more information, visit our Key Issues Page, and be sure to follow NYSSBA on Facebook and Twitter.

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