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Harassment, diversity among governor's policy initiatives

On Board Online • February 5, 2018

By Julie Marlette
Director of Governmental Relations

One might assume that Gov. Andrew Cuomo's annual executive budget proposals are mostly numbers. But recent budgets have included plenty of policy language.

This year is no exception; appropriations bills were accompanied by several thousand pages of text. Some of the language was needed to implement spending plans and distribute the money while other portions had nothing to do with money.


Today's teens love dystopian novels about fighting authoritarian gov'ts

On Board Online • February 5, 2018

By Gayle Simidian
Research Analyst

What are teenagers reading for fun these days? Novels in which young people struggle against oppressive governments.

As any high school librarian will tell you, teens like novels about dystopias, which are nightmare societies in which individuals are oppressed. Perhaps the best known example is Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series, in which a teenage character named Katniss Everdeen grows into a symbol of rebellion against a central government.


The Rodney Dangerfields of NYS education finally get some respect

On Board Online • February 5, 2018

By Eric D. Randall
Editor-in-Chief

If you serve on a school board or work in a school district in New York State, you're familiar with the state's 37 BOCES (Boards of Cooperative Educational Services). But how much do you know about their cousins, the RICs (Regional Information Centers)?

The state's 12 RICs are teams of experts in technology - an increasingly important part of every school's operations and instruction. They operate as divisions of BOCES with expanded service footprints. Like BOCES, their mission is to provide services and personnel to support school districts.


New York's highest court upholds three teacher termination sanctions

On Board Online • February 5, 2018

By Jeffrey Mongelli
Senior Staff Counsel

The New York Court of Appeals has determined that a lower state appellate court exceeded its authority when it determined that termination was not an appropriate penalty in three separate teacher discipline cases.

The reversal invoked a judicial standard that courts generally must uphold penalties imposed as part of an administrative disciplinary process. An exception applies if the penalty "shocks one's conscience." This is called the Pell standard.


Six things you should know about New York's ESSA plan

On Board Online • February 5, 2018

MaryEllen Elia
Commissioner of Education

Last month, the U.S. Department of Education approved New York's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. The plan reflects more than a year of collaboration with a comprehensive group of stakeholders, including valuable input from school board members and NYSSBA.

Approval of our plan ensures that New York will continue to receive approximately $1.6 billion annually in funding from the federal government to support elementary and secondary education in New York state schools.


Student-designed software package tracks community service hours

On Board Online • February 5, 2018

By Merri Rosenberg
Special Correspondent

Rob Jacoby was frustrated keeping track of student paperwork in his role as adviser to the National Honor Society at Alexander Hamilton High School in Elmsford Union Free School District.

"It was nuts how much paperwork I was doing for an extracurricular activity," he said.

So when the Westchester County district switched to software that allows students to log their own community service hours, Jacoby was pleased.


Cuomo calls for $796M state aid increase

On Board Online • January 22, 2018

By Brian Fessler
Deputy Director of Governmental Relations

When the 2018 Legislature considers school aid in coming months, whose recommendations will hold sway? Different numbers have been suggested by educational advocacy groups, the state Board of Regents and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, respectively.

On Jan. 16, the governor proposed increasing state aid by $796 million, or 3 percent. That's short of what the Regents have recommended - a $1.6 billion increase.

The Educational Conference Board - a coalition of state education groups including NYSSBA - has called for a $2 billion increase. The group estimates that $1.5 billion is needed from the state just to maintain current services.


Cuomo targets 'lunch shaming'

On Board Online • January 22, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

In his 2018 State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for an end to "lunch shaming" in public schools and offered a package of proposals to help ensure that students aren't trying to learn on an empty stomach.

Among the education-related proposals Cuomo outlined in a full text of his State of the State message was a plan he dubbed "No Student Goes Hungry."


Every Child DOES Matter

On Board Online • January 22, 2018

William Miller
NYSSBA President

Welcome to 2018! It's only January and we've already had enough snow, wind and subzero temperatures for the entire winter!

It is a privilege to be your new NYSSBA president. I know we all share the belief that our state and nation's future is dependent upon having a strong system of public education, and we are all frustrated by many factors that make it increasingly challenging to provide the educational opportunities that every child deserves.

The good news is that NYSSBA is a vital organization that is part of the solution in many ways. As I begin my tenure as president of the Association, I want to acknowledge that no one accomplishes anything alone.


State ESSA plan wins federal approval

On Board Online • January 22, 2018

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

U.S. education officials have approved a new federal accountability plan for New York schools that expands the types of academic indicators used to gauge school quality beyond math and English language arts test results and puts new emphasis on school climate.

Implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, which ensures the continued flow of some $1.6 billion in annual federal funding for New York schools, is scheduled to begin this spring.

Stakeholders including superintendents, school board members, teachers and parents collaborated with the State Education Department and Board of Regents for more than a year to craft a draft plan that was submitted to the federal Department of Education in September.


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