Message from the Executive Director
July 25, 2021
Dear Members and Stakeholders,
It has been reported that, since the pandemic began, children and adolescents have higher rates of anxiety, depression, and stress. The return to in-person learning, while most welcome by many, may exacerbate the situation as students adjust to the in-person learning environment. Supporting student mental health is a high priority for NYSSBA and school boards. The opening session of our recently concluded 2021 Summer Law Conference, "Helping Students Transition Back into an In-person School Environment" was attended by hundreds of school board members and other stakeholders. Click here to read the latest guidance and access resources for student mental health support and suicide prevention resources.
Weekly Updates and Reminders
• Resolutions Process Update
Many thanks to the members who submitted resolutions for consideration at this year's annual business meeting. The Resolutions Committee will be meeting soon to review all proposed resolutions that were submitted by the July 16 deadline. Those resolutions will then be considered during our annual business meeting, which will be held virtually on Monday, October 18 at 4 p.m. Any amendments or late resolutions must be received by Thursday, October 14 at 5 p.m. in order to be eligible for consideration during the business meeting. With our virtual format, no amendments or late resolutions can be submitted "on the floor." We strongly encourage all districts to select a board member to serve as a business meeting voting delegate. Voting delegate registration will open up next month (this registration will be separate from Convention registration) and will be sent to all member district clerks.
• Summer Congressional Meetings
This week we kicked of our Summer Congressional Meetings. Thank you to all of the members who joined us at these virtual meetings. We are currently scheduling meetings with the remainder of the New York State Congressional delegation. Our Advocacy Liaisons and Board Presidents will receive invites to these meetings via email. NYSSBA has begun to use a new advocacy platform called "Voter Voice". Members who are looking to register for a meeting or keep up-to-date regarding meeting schedules will find the information here: Voter Voice
• The 2022 Capital Conference will be held virtually on Wednesday morning, February 2, 2022. The conference includes a review of the Executive Budget proposal as well as sessions with state legislative and education leaders. In addition, with the recent reopening of the state capitol, NYSSBA has been able to plan a legislative lobby day for school board members statewide. Lobby day provides you with the opportunity to meet with your state senators and assembly members to advocate for your district, share your reactions to the executive budget proposal and communicate with your legislators about the importance of public education. This in-person lobby day will be held on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. Participation in the 2022 Capital Conference and the in-person lobby day is free for NYSSBA members. We will be sending out more information to our members in the coming months.
NYSSBA’s On Board
The July 26 edition of On Board explores how the Delta variant may impact school reopening plans, the human side of school board service, how students evaluate the credibility of online information, a legal analysis of several court cases, research briefs and much more.
Especially for Newly Elected School Board Members
• In Case You Missed It: 2021 Newly Elected School Board Members Webinar - Get to Know NYSSBA!
I encourage all of our newly elected school board members to watch this free webinar recording. As you learn more about the roles and responsibilities of school board members, I know you will want to utilize NYSSBA’s member resources to support your work. NYSSBA provides member boards with skill building and informative education programs, publications and consultant services. Many of these events and services are free to members. Through our advocacy efforts, NYSSBA represents the views of members with education policymakers in Albany and Washington, D.C. NYSSBA also assists members with legal questions, negotiations advice, policy guidance, communications activities, research needs and much more.
• 2021 Survey of New School Board Members: Deadline July 30, 2021
Several weeks ago all of our newly elected school board members were emailed a brief 19-question survey. The questions are designed so NYSSBA can learn more about our newest members and how we can better support and serve our membership. The survey is due on Friday, July 30, 2021. If you are a 2021 newly elected school board member and you did not receive the survey, please contact Ben Greenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please note that NYSSBA’s full membership survey will begin in August.)
New York State Education Department
• Memo: Use of Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funds to Provide Recovery Services to Students Over the Age of 21 – July 21, 2021
• Federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Funding – Instructions for Eligible Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) on Applying for 90% Base ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds and Revised ARP ESSER Allocations – July 21, 2021
July is Disability Pride Month
The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. It is a landmark law that prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities. Although Disability Pride Month isn't nationally recognized, it is a chance to honor each person's uniqueness as "a natural and beautiful part of human diversity," according to America's Disability Community. This is particularly relevant within the education community. Our school districts are doing everything they can to ensure all students, including students with disabilities, are getting high-quality educational services. NYSSBA has a long history of advocating for appropriate IDEA funding and flexibility (see NYSSBA’s Legislative Priorities and NYSSBA’s Letter to Congress Regarding Funding and Flexibility for IDEA). For more information about IDEA, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) website, NYS-TEACHES , and New York State Laws and Regulations Related to Special Education and Students with Disabilities.
Finally, after a year apart, we are busy preparing for NYSSBA’s Annual Convention and Education Expo from October 24 to 26, 2021 in New York City. Please click on the link to view a short video update about this year’s plans and schedule. I look forward to seeing you at the New York Hilton Midtown this fall. It will be good to get together again.
Be well and stay in touch.
Robert S. Schneider CPA, CAE
New York State School Boards Association