FOR RELEASE: June 11, 2021
NYSSBA thanks state lawmakers for their attention during the 2021 legislative session to the needs of New York’s students and the countless operating challenges faced by school districts during the pandemic.
Without a doubt, the passage of a 2021-22 state budget that features a $1.4 billion increase in foundation aid is a major highlight of the session. School districts will wrap up this school year and resume in September on more stable financial footing, thanks to the budget approved by lawmakers.
School board members also appreciate legislative actions that have helped districts adjust to unprecedented twists and turns during the pandemic. For example, legislators approved temporary measures that modified petition signature requirements for school board candidates this spring and expanded absentee ballot access for voters concerned about potential coronavirus exposure during in-person school budget voting.
Other legislation passed during this session would extend the ability of school boards to meet virtually throughout the remainder of the pandemic, provide school districts with improved access to the state’s Immunization Information System and expand the definition of Child Safety Zones.
These are among several legislative actions this year that will provide practical support and needed flexibility for school districts as they continue to cope with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.