Advocacy Alert: Obama Administration Issues Guidance on Transgender Students
May 17, 2016
Last week the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, in partnership with the US Department of Justice issued a Dear Colleague letter advising districts that they must allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity.
Additional Guidance from NSBA
APPR Advocacy Continues
Following the initial ruling in the Lederman APPR challenge last week, NYSSBA continues to call for changes in APPR to allow districts to operate under either their existing 3012-c plan or a newly approved 3012-d plan, and maintain their 2015-16 and 16-17 state aid increases.
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Smart Schools Bond Act
Last week, the first round of Smart Schools funding was announced. 52 plans were approved, allocating $45 million.
A list of approved projects can be viewed below;
Senate Holds Hearing on Veteran’s Policies
Today, the Senate Standing Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs held a hearing to explore tax policies, housing programs and consumer protections aimed at assisting current service members and the veteran population.
NYSSBA submitted testimony stressing the importance of the state taking financial responsibility for any veteran’s tax exemptions they adopt.
NYSSBA’s testimony can be read below:
US DOL Proposed Overtime Rule Release Imminent
NSBA advises that the Department of Labor is likely to released updated rules in the weeks to come making dramatic changes to the current rules relating to employee overtime. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an individual must satisfy three criteria to qualify as a white collar employee exempt from federal overtime pay requirements. One of the criteria is that the employee’s salary must be more than $455/week ($23,660 annually) (the minimum salary requirement or salary threshold). Among other changes, the DOL has proposed increasing the salary threshold from $23,660 to $50,440.
Overall, this proposal would result in a 113% increase in the salary threshold. The proposed rule could also potentially modify how employers determine which employees are exempt from the overtime rule based on their duties. The rule would apply to public, private and non-profit employers. In addition, the rule as proposed could go into effect in as little as 60 days from the time it is approved.
For school districts, which collectively are the largest employers in the nation, tight state and local budgets could translate to difficulty absorbing cost increases resulting from the new requirements, especially on such short notice. Teachers are exempt from the overtime rule, but other school district employees not directly engaged in academic instruction, training or directly related administrative functions, may be subject to the new rule.
NYSSBA, through NSBA, is working hard to secure amendments to this proposal.
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.