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Statement by NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer on the 2018 Legislative Session

FOR RELEASE: June 21, 2018



CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell


To borrow from the words of famous poet T.S. Eliot, the 2018 legislative session ended "not with a bang but a whimper." 

There was no deal on major issues such as teacher evaluations, school safety, or stop arm cameras for school buses.

2018 Legislative Session Draws To a Close

June 21, 2018

For the first time in recent history, the state legislative session ended without a "big ugly", a complicated, comprehensive bill with a lot of unrelated items that no one would agree to otherwise. While some were frustrated by the lack of agreement on specific items, the upside is that there was no rush to judgment on complex issues that should be addressed thoughtfully.

NYSSBA Governmental Relations Staff will break down all the details on the session at the End of Session Webinar on June 27th, but some of the highlights, as well as registration information on the webinar can be viewed below.

Statement from NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer on Separation of Families

FOR RELEASE: June 20, 2018



CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell



The practice of removing children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, traumatizing the children and their parents, must end.

We are encouraged to hear that President Trump has signed an executive order intended to stop this horrible practice, and we hope that a more lasting, humane solution can be reached.

Advocacy Update: Senate Introduces APPR Proposal

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan introduced the Senate's proposal to update APPR, as well as a number of other Senate Education priorities.

At first blush some components of the proposal may seem attractive, as the bill repeals sections 3012-c and 3012-d of the education law, and along with them the matrix, the requirement to use any measure of student performance and any link to state aid. However, the bill then restructures APPR to require that evaluations be 100% subject to collective bargaining. 

The bill would also include a number of provisions unrelated to evaluation including:

  • An increase of the charter school cap
  • An elimination of the NYC charter school and requirement that more schools be located there
  • Allowing all charters issued to schools that have closed to be reissued
  • Reducing oversight of certain nonpublic schools
  • Providing Division of Human Rights oversight over public school students
  • Reducing educator probationary periods from 4 to 3 years
  • Permanently prohibiting standardized test scores from being included in students' permanent records. 

Opioid deaths, arrests rattle NYS communities

On Board Online • June 11, 2018

By Pauline Liu
Special Correspondent

In Allegany County's Genesee Valley School District, tragedy struck twice this school year. Two parents of elementary school students overdosed on opioids and died in separate incidents, according to Superintendent Brian Schmitt.

Also this school year, three teenagers from the same county were charged with negligent homicide after allegedly failing to get medical help for an 18-year-old friend who died of a heroin overdose during a car ride to Rochester.

ABC journalist to discuss ethics at NYSSBA's Annual Convention

On Board Online • June 11, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

John Quiñones, host of the hidden-camera program "What Would You Do?," will offer a personal perspective on the everyday challenges of recognizing and doing the right thing when he delivers the keynote address at NYSSBA's 99th Annual Convention and Education Expo in New York City.

His speech on Oct. 25 will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown, which is located a short walk from this year's host hotel, the Sheraton New York Times Square. In 2020 and 2021, the Hilton will house all convention and expo events

Five lessons from the budget votes

On Board Online • June 11, 2018

William Miller
NYSSBA President

Another school budget vote has come and gone. What have we learned?

I see five key takeaways:

1. Community support for schools is strong. Voters statewide approved 98 percent of school budgets this year. While no one likes paying taxes - including me! - it is clear that public education is a top priority of voters in New York State.

2. The tax cap undermines democracy by suppressing voter turnout.

Comptroller to conduct school safety audits

On Board Online • June 11, 2018

By Eric D. Randall

In a new audit program beginning this month, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli will examine whether school districts have adequate and up-to-date safety plans in the event of a school shooting or major emergency.

The Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Act that was signed into law in 2000 requires schools to implement comprehensive safety plans, which include policies and procedures covering such topics as safe evacuation, communication in emergencies, emergency responder access to building plans and school violence prevention training. If a school district fails to comply fully with the SAVE Act, that could hamper communication with first responders and prolong emergencies, according to a news release from DiNapoli's office.

Teachers, coaches can get opioid help guide from state

On Board Online • June 11, 2018

This spring, three state agencies created the New York State Addiction and Substance Use Disorder Educational Resource for teachers, coaches and other school personnel.

The resource, available from the state free of charge, includes:

  • A resource packet to help school districts meet the requirements of modernizing health education instruction by including heroin and opioid content in the curriculum.
  • Presentations, videos, and discussion guides about the opioid and heroin epidemic.
  • A training program approved by the State Education Department (SED) for school personnel toimplement an opioid overdose prevention program and instructions on how to obtain free naloxone.

Security camera surveillance systems: Best practices and policy concerns

On Board Online • June 11, 2018

By the New York State Association of School Attorneys

To address heightened community concerns about school safety, many school boards are considering installing surveillance security camera systems in their school and administration buildings. These systems can be used to detect suspicious behavior or other potential dangers to the health and well-being of its students and employees. Some systems are connected to local police. However, there are various legal and "best practices" considerations that ought to be taken into account before such a system is implemented, especially with regard to unionized employees subject to such surveillance.

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