Call To Action: State Aid for Enrollment Growth and ELL

February 23, 2017

Legislation Introduced to Provide Aid for Enrollment Growth and ELL Students

Legislation has been 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. 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 the bill A.5717 (Brindisi) by clicking the link below.

Take Action Now

NYSSBA's memorandum of support and budget testimony can be accessed through the following links.

Executive Budget 30 Day Amendments Released

The 30 day amendments to the Executive Budget were released last week. The majority of these amendments were technical in nature, two made changes to Executive's proposals related to education.

The first change addressed school districts with a community schools set aside of $1 million or more.  Those districts would be further required to use a portion of this set aside to expand the community schools model to additional high need schools within their district. This proposal provides no new or additional funding; it merely puts more restrictions on how certain districts may use their Foundation Aid.

The amendments also expanded the proposed eligibility for the Empire State After-School Program grants. The original proposal would have limited eligibility for this funding to the state's 16 Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI) communities. The proposal now expands this eligibility to localities with child poverty rates in excess of 30%, based on poverty estimates provided by the US census bureau. NYSSBA had recommended more districts be eligible to apply for this funding, and we are supportive of this change.

Senate Conferences Continue to Transition

In order to hold the majority in the New York State Senate, 32 seats are required. The Senate Republicans have maintained their majority in 2017, with 31 members of the Republican Conference and with Senator Simcha Felder, who ran on the Democratic and Republican lines,  and who caucuses with the Republicans.

Changes have been underway in the two Democratic Conferences. The mainline Democrats started the session with 24 members, and the Independent Democratic Conference with 7.  However Senator Jose Peralta left the mainline Senate Democrats and joined the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), bringing the IDC to 8 members. More recently, Democratic Senator Bill Perkins was elected to the New York City Council, and immediately resigned his Senate seat bringing the number of mainline Democrats to 22. A date for a special election to fill the now vacant seat has not been announced.  

New York State Education Department is Recruiting

The New York State Education Department has asked NYSSBA, to let our members know that they are recruiting professionals who have a passion for education to fill critical and challenging positions.  The links below describe duties, minimum qualifications, conditions of employment, and application instructions:

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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