Press Releases

FOR RELEASE: June 17, 2020

New York State voters approved approximately 99% of school district budgets on Tuesday, June 16, based on a preliminary analysis of budget vote results by the New York State School Boards Association.

"In the midst of a public health and economic crisis, voters in the state of New York showed how much they value public education by collectively and, in many cases overwhelmingly, supporting their local school district budgets," said NYSSBA Executive Director Robert Schneider. "We are grateful to the public for its strong show of support for education and the valiant efforts of school districts in providing educational services under extremely trying circumstances."

"Now, it is time for state and federal lawmakers to do their part and provide adequate levels of funding for our schools, especially in light of the ‘new normal,’ where reopening schools will require public health protections, additional student supports and other outside-the-classroom functions," he added.

Initial statewide results gathered by NYSSBA indicate voters passed 494 school district budgets. The number of budgets defeated was six. NYSSBA was still awaiting results for 175 districts.

This year’s budget vote and board elections were conducted entirely by absentee ballot, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Voter turnout was considerably higher than in previous years. Anecdotal reports suggest turnout increased by as much as three to eight times compared to previous years.

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FOR RELEASE: June 9, 2020

The senseless death of George Floyd and the resulting protests are a call to action for all people of conscience, especially school leaders. We must channel our outrage into productive discussions and actions at the local, state and national levels. 

The Pledge of Allegiance refers to “Liberty and Justice for All.” What can we do to ensure that all children, particularly Black and Brown children, grow up in a world filled with opportunity and justice rather than hostility and fear? 

The answer must involve education, which Horace Mann called "the great equalizer of the conditions of men." Public schools are designed to be engines of equality and equity, and everyone troubled by the death of George Floyd and similar events should be prioritizing public schools as a vehicle for not just progress, but transformation. 

School boards will be part of the solution because they are dedicated to seeing every child succeed. Like leaders of all organizations, school board members can benefit from learning (or learning more) about implicit bias, structural racism, white privilege and anti-racism. Today, understanding such concepts is critical to creating safe and supportive school environments where all students feel accepted and valued. 

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FOR RELEASE: June 7, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 320-2221 cell

@nyschoolboards

The governor’s announcement today allowing outdoor high school graduation ceremonies for up to 150 people is welcome news, and a step toward allowing a more traditional graduation ceremony. While we understand the need to continue to be vigilant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, school board members remain hopeful that the governor will allow graduating seniors the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in a full high school graduation experience, albeit with appropriate safeguards in place to protect public health.

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FOR RELEASE: May 1, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 320-2221 cell

@nyschoolboards

School budget votes and board elections will be conducted this year under challenging circumstances, to say the least. With the July 1 beginning of the school fiscal year approaching for many districts, we had hoped for clarity on these issues weeks ago. 

That said, we can now move forward. There are many logistical issues involved in conducting school budget votes – from finalizing school budgets themselves to providing notice and absentee ballots to the public. There will be many obstacles to conducting these elections in a manner that is safe for the school district staff who must work with the absentee ballots, as well as the general public. Toward that end, NYSSBA stands ready to serve as a resource to our member districts as they work through the school budget vote and board election process put in place by the governor.

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FOR RELEASE: May 1, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 320-2221 cell

@nyschoolboards

We commend the governor’s decision to keep schools closed for the remainder of the academic year. Clearly, schools are not ready to open for classroom learning, and they won’t be until we can adequately protect our students and staff.

No doubt everyone – school board members, administrators, teachers, students – is anxious to return to school and some semblance of normalcy.

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FOR RELEASE: April 27, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 320-2221 cell

@nyschoolboards

Schools in New York State could be forced to cut tens of thousands of positions without additional federal funding for K-12 education, the New York State School Boards Association warned today.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has stated that New York schools could see a state aid reduction of 20%, or a staggering $5.5 billion decrease, due to the state’s economic losses resulting from the coronavirus. A loss of that magnitude would return state education aid to 2014 levels.

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FOR RELEASE: April 7, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 320-2221 cell

@nyschoolboards

Students across New York State can breathe a collective sigh of relief. The State Education Department has cancelled Regents exams for June 2020 – and rightfully so. No student should be denied course credit or a high school diploma or otherwise penalized due to these extraordinary circumstances. Guidance issued by the State Education Department focuses on ensuring learning outcomes and standards, rather than on testing. In our view, that is the proper focus.

Teachers and administrators are making every effort to deliver instruction, and should be applauded for that. At the same time, it would be unrealistic to expect that all students are receiving equal opportunities for instruction under the current circumstances. 

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FOR RELEASE: April 3, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 320-2221 cell

@nyschoolboards

The new state budget offers level funding for public education, at least for now, which is probably about the best school districts could have hoped for at a time when the state faces a potential $15 billion budget deficit.

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FOR RELEASE: March 20, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 783-3716 office (518) 320-2221 cell

@nyschoolboards

The New York State School Boards Association is urging candidates for their local boards of education not to go door-to-door in order to collect signatures on their petitions to get on the ballot for school board elections this May.

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FOR RELEASE: March 5, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 783-3716 office (518) 320-2221 cell

@nyschoolboards

Two-thirds of school board members said they need additional support or guidance from state and local health officials in preparing for a possible coronavirus outbreak, according to a poll by the New York State School Boards Association.

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