New York State School Boards Association
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Gratitude for district clerks' work follows frustrating 2020 election

On Board Online • June 29, 2020

By Pauline Liu
Special Correspondent

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, New York's 2020 annual district budget votes and board elections were conducted by mail, with all eligible voters using absentee ballots. District clerks helped districts navigate uncharted territory that involved grueling logistics, soaring costs, widespread delays, record voter participation and, in the end, overwhelming support for school budgets.

Deluge of COVID product pitches are dilemma for superintendents

On Board Online • June 29, 2020

By Pauline Liu
Special Correspondent

Since school buildings closed in March, school districts and BOCES across New York say they've been barraged by unsolicited emails hawking COVID-19 related products including sanitizer, clear barriers and online learning systems.

Multiple companies are offering to sell custom masks in school colors for both adults and children. They'll even include images of school mascots.

They like us ... They really like us

On Board Online • June 29, 2020

Fred Langstaff
NYSSBA President

The most unusual school year in memory has come to a close. Staff in every district deserves high praise for moving to distance learning, ramping up food service, providing day care for children of first responders, creating graduation ceremonies and moving mountains to pull off a last-minute switch to elections by absentee ballot.

What lessons have we learned? Here are seven:

More than 98% of school budgets approved

On Board Online • June 29, 2020

By Paul Heiser
Senior Research Analyst

Despite an economic recession and other stresses during the coronavirus pandemic, voters across the state approved more than 98% of school spending plans this year, according to a NYSSBA analysis.

Of the 675 budgets put before voters, 664 budgets passed - an approval rate of 98.4%. Eleven budgets were defeated.

How do you lead a chorus during a pandemic?

On Board Online • June 29, 2020

By Kathleen Moore
Special Correspondent

Teachers of subjects such as art, music, technology and physical education had an especially difficult job during the school building shutdown from March 18 through the end of the school year in June.

For instance, videoconferencing is not appropriate for group singing or group musical performances.

This June, every HS graduation will be unique

On Board Online • June 8, 2020

By Sal Prividera
Special Correspondent

Get ready for pomp and unusual circumstances.

Since Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on May 1 that school buildings would remain shuttered for the rest of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, school officials have been scrambling to create alternatives to traditional commencement ceremonies.

Protests may fuel ed equity efforts

On Board Online • June 8, 2020

By Eric D. Randall

As the nation mourns the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and protesters call for defunding of police, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and some superintendents are calling for attention to the underlying issue of fairness in American society, including school systems.

What 'reimagining education' means to me

On Board Online • June 8, 2020

Robert S. Schneider
NYSSBA Executive Director

It is important that the voices of the education community be heard when our state government makes decisions involving public education. Exhibit One: the costly and cumbersome school budget vote and board election process imposed by the governor's executive order. It is critical that state level policymakers hear - loudly and clearly - the voice of school board members and other stakeholders before they make decisions that affect schools.

Diversity, inclusivity and purchasing policies: Are your spending decisions aligned?

On Board Online • June 8, 2020

By Kendra McQuilton

In light of the George Floyd protests, your school board may be re-examining district efforts involving diversity and inclusion. Have you considered your district's dealings with businesses?

The average school district spends 11% of its budget on purchased services, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

U.S. DOE issues final Title IX regulations

On Board Online • June 8, 2020

By Kate Gaffney
Senior Staff Counsel

The U.S. Department of Education recently issued final Title IX regulations that for the first time codify rules specifically pertaining to sexual harassment. The regulations serve to implement Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments - a federal civil rights statute which prohibits school districts, as recipients of federal funding, from engaging in practices or activities that discriminate on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment.

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