Advocacy Alert
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Advocacy Alert: Lead Testing Bill Signed

September 12, 2016

Governor Signs Lead Testing Bill

On September 6th, Governor Cuomo signed Chapter 296 (S.8158, O'Mara / A.10740, Lupardo) requiring public school districts and boards of cooperative educational services to conduct testing of school potable water sources for lead contamination.

The New York State Department of Health filed emergency regulations on the same day providing the specific guidelines for implementation.

2016 Proposed Bylaw Amendments and Resolutions Book

September 2, 2016

Dear Member:

Below is the link to the 2016 Proposed Bylaw Amendments & Resolutions Book.

This book contains information needed to prepare for the 2016 Annual Business Meeting, including:

  • The Order of Business.
  • The Report of the Resolutions Committee.
  • Rules of Conduct for the Business Meeting.
  • Instructions for the Submission of Amendments and Rebuttals.

Advocacy Update: Governor Signs Cold War Veterans Tax Exemption

August 30, 2016

On August 19th, Governor Cuomo signed a bill authorizing school districts to grant the Cold War veterans property tax exemption to eligible taxpayers within their school district. NYSSBA opposed this bill in its final form and sought a veto. However, this exemption is now available in addition to the “alternative veterans exemption” approved in 2013.

Like the alternative exemption, this exemption is offered at district option, after adoption of a board resolution. The new law provides no funding or reimbursement from the state for those districts who offer the exemption. Throughout the year, NYSSBA aggressively pushed legislators and the Governor’s office to amend the proposal to make the state fiscally responsible for subsidizing exemptions they initiate.

Advocacy Alert: Federal Issues Briefing

August 1, 2016

Last week, the NYSSBA Governmental Relations team, in partnership with the NSBA conducted a webinar on key issues under consideration by Congress as they break for district work period. Highlights of the discussion include:

  • ESSA Implementation
  • Federal Funding
  • School Nutrition and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

Advocacy Alert: National School Boards Action Center Reception

July 13, 2016

At the end of July, each of the major political parties will hold their conventions before heading to their districts for August District Work Period. The National School Boards Association’s Political Action Committee will be hosting receptions at each of these national conventions. They have extended an invitation to local school board members who will be serving as party delegates or who will be attending either convention to join them.

Advocacy Alert: Federal Updates

July 1, 2016

USED and HHS Releases Guidance on Students in Foster Care

Last week the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services released joint non-regulatory guidance relating to educating students in foster care. This nonbinding guidance is intended to assist school districts meeting their obligations under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was recently reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act. The foster care provisions of this Act take effect on December 10, 2016. This guidance can be viewed below.

Advocacy Alert: 2016 Legislative Wrap Up

June 23, 2016

Earlier today, the NYSSBA Governmental Relations team conducted a webinar discussing the end of the 2016 legislative session and how your school district could be impacted.

We discussed what bills state lawmakers passed, what bills they did not, and what business was left unfinished. Highlights of the discussion included:

  • APPR
  • Lead Testing and Remediation
  • Property Tax Cap
  • Education Tax Credit
  • Veterans Property Tax Exemption

Advocacy Alert: 2016 Session Comes to a Close

June 18, 2016

Early this morning (5:00 am in the Assembly, 4:00 am for the Senate) the legislature gaveled out for what was the close of the 2016 legislative session.

NYSSBA’s Governmental Relations team was there until the end as we saw action on a number of significant issues for school districts across New York. Over the next several days, we will conduct a thorough analysis of the actions of the legislature, but highlights of some key issues are below:

Call to Action: Tell Your Legislators to Reject New Building Level Data Requirements

June 17, 2016

Late last night a new proposal emerged that would require all districts state wide to comply with numerous new reporting requirements, including the development and provision of extensive building level budget data.

Please call your legislators immediately and tell them that districts already have a clear and transparent budget process, including school report cards, property tax report cards and a host of other financial reports.

Call To Action: Only Four Days Remain to Act on APPR Legislation

June 13, 2016

Assembly Education Chair Catherine Nolan (D-Queens) and Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) and 90 of their colleagues have introduced legislation (A.10569) that would amend current law to allow districts to operate under approved Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans that are compliant with either section 3012-d, adopted in 2015, or 3012-c. Under current law, districts that do not have an approved 3012-d plan in place by September 1, 2016 risk losing their 2015-16 and 2016-17 state aid increases. If adopted, this legislation would allow districts to continue to operate under 3012-c until September 1, 2019 and maintain their aid increases. This legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Kaminsky (S.8034).

NYSSBA has called for this kind of flexibility throughout the legislative session and will continue to advocate for this legislation through the final days. Urge the legislature to advance this important legislation immediately.

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