New York State School Boards Association

On Board Online February 20 2017

Districts will have to report per-pupil spending by school

On Board Online • February 20, 2017

By Eric D. Randall

Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, every school district in New York State - and the nation - will be required to report what it spends per-pupil in every school.

The reporting requirement was included in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2016.

Focusing on per-pupil spending at the school level will be a radically different approach to fiscal accountability in New York State.

Gorsuch's education-related rulings display wit, independence, eloquence

On Board Online • February 20, 2017

By James E. Beyer
Harris Beach

When a seventh grader burped and laughed repeatedly during a physical education class in Albuquerque, N.M., the teacher put him in the hallway. When he continued the behavior, she summoned the school resource officer, who arrested the 13-year-old on a misdemeanor charge of interfering with the educational process. The officer patted him down, handcuffed him and drove him to a juvenile detention facility.

The case eventually reached the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, where Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch found himself the only judge on a three-member panel who thought the boy's family was right in asserting that school officials mishandled the situation.

New financial reporting should illuminate issue of equity

On Board Online • February 20, 2017

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

A new financial reporting requirement should prompt thoughtful, strategic discussions about the allocation of resources in your school district.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) will require school districts to report 2017-18 per-pupil spending for every school in the district.

While boards won't have to issue school-level reports in accordance with ESSA until June 30, 2019, it's important for school boards to start talking about this coming requirement now.

Graduation rates: 'We're going in the right direction'

On Board Online • February 20, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

The four-year high school graduation rate for New York students climbed to 79.4 percent in 2016, a gain of 1.3 percentage points over the previous year and up more than 12 percentage points over the course of a decade.

Those increases and rising graduation rates for subgroups, such as students attending big-city schools and African-American and Hispanic students, led Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia to tell reporters on a conference call "the news is generally positive."

My Brother's Keeper grantees devise variety of approaches to address needs, ambitions of minority male students

On Board Online • February 20, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

Schools across New York State are striving to raise the academic performance, graduation rates and career prospects for all students, but special attention is being paid in some districts to the needs of black and Hispanic male students. These districts have received state grants under the state's new My Brother's Keeper Challenge, which is modeled on a national initiative championed by former President Barack Obama.

Each local plan envisions a distinctive route to those goals. Strategies include mentoring, "restorative" practices, family engagement, after-school and summer programs, and more.

The benefits are likely to extend to girls and other struggling, disadvantaged students, regardless of color, according to school officials.

Second Circuit clarifies obligations of employers on FMLA leave requests

On Board Online • February 20, 2017

By Kimberly A. Fanniff
Senior Staff Counsel

School officials should be familiar with the Latin term in loco parentis (acting as guardian to a child) because school personnel serve in that capacity while children are in school or otherwise under their supervision. But the concept of in loco parentis can also apply in other contexts, including an employer's obligation to grant an employee leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Commissioner issues mixed ruling in suspension of kindergartener

On Board Online • February 20, 2017

By Kimberly A. Fanniff
Senior Staff Counsel

The commissioner of education recently upheld a 13-day suspension of a kindergarten student for placing his hands around another student's neck and squeezing. However, she found procedural errors in an initial five-day suspension.

In Appeal of S.K., the boy's father challenged both the short- and long-term suspensions of his son as excessive. He also argued the notice of the short-term suspension was procedurally defective.

On the day of the incident, the victim reported the student's actions to his teacher who, after speaking with both students, referred them to the principal.

Changes will affect local wellness policies

On Board Online • February 20, 2017

By Jessica Goldstein
Deputy Director of Policy Services

"Student wellness" has been a policy topic in every school district since at least 2006, when a federal law for subsidized school food programs demanded that participating school districts adopt a "local wellness policy" aimed at reducing childhood obesity. Get ready for Student Wellness 2.0. New regulations emphasizing accountability for compliance go into effect on July 1, 2017.

In Schodack, English teachers discover the power of podcasts

On Board Online • February 20, 2017

By Jason Franchuk
Special Correspondent

While home sick last year, English teacher Heather Flood followed a friend's recommendation and listened to "Limetown," a podcast series about 375 residents in a small Tennessee town who disappeared.

In case you aren't among the 36 percent of Americans who have listened to a podcast or the 49 percent who say they are familiar with podcasts, the term refers to digital audio files that typically can be downloaded for free off the Internet. They can be subscribed to (like a periodical) and played on computers or portable devices such as phones and tablets

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